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Innovative landscaping and biophillic design

  • The most inspiring workplaces that incorporate nature

    By Jemma
    Dec 21, '18 6:19 AM EST

    The phrase ‘the office’ used to be synonymous with broken photocopiers, magnolia walls and neglected spider plants but over the past two decades, architects have re-imagined the potential of these commercial hubs. From Air BnB’s ‘Irish Bar’ layout, to Cisco System’s on-site health suite, design concepts have shifted to foreground office culture and to prioritise the office worker and their well-being.

    The next generation of office design is dominated by ‘biophilic’ concepts - workspaces that embrace nature to promote greater health and happiness in these predominantly metropolitan buildings. The following list demonstrates how diverse the results can be!

    SelgasCano Architectural Office, Madrid

    ©selgascano.net

    This incredible tube-shaped office dug into the Spanish countryside was designed by Jose Selgas and Lucia Cano. The office space integrates beautifully into its surroundings and gives all employees an eye-level view of the forest. The perspex, glass and fibreglass structure insulates office workers from intense sunlight in the summer and keeps them warm through the winter.

    Think Garden, Milan

    Source: inc.com

    This ‘primordial’ creative business lounge in Milan cultivates a relaxed working environment by combining a restrained colour palette with multi-textural planting. The space hosts up to 1000 workers, a mixture of freelancers, startups, companies, investors and journalists. The goal of the creation is to encourage harmony - with nature, and with each other.

    Coca Cola HQ, London

    Source: Designweek.co.uk

    MoreySmith’s clever design is a showcase of the company’s heritage and place in popular culture. Internally, the 66,000 square feet of office space is punctuated with iconic and contemporary artworks celebrating the brand. But for employees, one of the greater perks is the custom built roof terrace. Reminiscent of a rooftop bar, the terrace allows staff to unwind and get some fresh air.

    Google, Zurich

    Source: officesnapshots.com 

    No ‘amazing workspace’ list would be complete without mention of Google. Google’s famous Zurich office, by Evolution Design covers 129,000sqft and is notorious for its next-level design quirks. From its slides and fire-poles to its fish-tank rooms and alpine ski lifts, this office is a veritable theme park. Our favourite rooms are the ones that take the ‘biophilic’ concept to its extreme conclusion. This internal jungles are inspiring and calming.

    Republic, London

    ©Studio RHE


    London’s newest and most exciting workspace, Republic, reclaims the city’s expensive commercial zone of Canary Wharf, and provides an accessible space for start ups and freelancers. This ‘workplace of the future’ features a central ‘public realm’, a water garden of landscaped ponds, seating and futuristic Millboard decking.

    Archipod,anywhere!

    Source: archipod.com 

    Chris Sneesby’s spherical home office pods provide an eco-friendly and ergonomic home work space for the home-working revolution. Designed to complement a garden landscape and to meet the needs of the average office worker, the pods are made of FSC certified timber and their large roof domes let ample natural light flood the workspace, allowing for a reduction in electrical lighting.

    Amazon,Seattle

    Source:New York Times

    Amazon’s jaw dropping HQ in Seattle, USA, is an awe inspiring vision of what workplaces of the future could look like. Rebelling against the straight edges that defined the corporate past, Amazon has invested in gigantic glass domes filled with 40,000 tropical plants and trees. Designed by Site Workshop, the spheres contain Amazon’s board ‘room’ -a gigantic bird’s nest suspended amongst the forest.

    Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth   

    ©CAT

    The iconic Centre for Alternative Technology augmented its facilities with a brand new educational build, the WISE (Wales Institute for Sustainable Education) in 2008. The building houses lecture theatres,conference rooms, offices and restaurant. The whole building was constructed to work in tandem in nature for light and heat and the architects employed passive design and experimental, natural materials such a rammed earth for the lowest possible carbon footprint.

    Home Advisor, New York

    Source: Glassdoor.com 


    One of the simplest ways to modernise a business premises is to take advantage of outdoor space to build a terrace. Home Advisor’s New York-based headquarters strives to make the working day feel like a ‘vacation’ so that staff are relaxed and happy at work. The offices contain generous amounts of greenery and large windows to encourage a feeling of balance.

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About this Blog

This blog covers the most energising and restorative landscaping, biophillic architecture and perma-culture projects taking place across the world! I'm interested in how we incorporate nature into our environments, particularly urban environments. As we progress into the twenty-first century, we appear to be moving ever-further from the futuristic aesthetic that our predecessors imagined back in the mid-century. This blog looks at the methods and psychology of natural influence.

Authored by:

  • Jemma

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