In recent weeks, our journey into sustainable architecture has delved into inspiring instances of eco-conscious living spaces around the globe and closer to our home country. Yet, as we stand on the precipice of tomorrow, the responsibility lies upon present and future students to not just construct structures, but to build living spaces that blend innovation with the natural world.
Amidst this quest for sustainable marvels, one concept gleams like a beacon of hope: Biophilic Design. Edward O. Wilson, a famous biologist in 1984, spoke about Biophilia as a profound human connection towards nature.¹ This approach inspired the well-known Biophilic Design concept in architectural schools, where living spaces are constructed by incorporating natural elements, fostering well-being, productivity, and sustainability.
The biophilic design integrates nature into the built environment through materials like wood and plants, natural views, ample light, and soothing sounds. Its advantages include stress reduction, enhanced mood, creativity, cognitive function, healing, and decreased absenteeism.
Delving into biophilic design, Singapore is a prime example of its transformative power. The country stands true to its name, ‘City in a Garden’, and if you happen to visit this country, just like I did back in 2019, you will be able to appreciate the integration of biophilic principles and green architecture. In this article, I discuss one particular biophilic home — Kampung Admiralty.
Figure 1 : The vast greenery that is incorporated into Kampung Admirality, Singapore¹
Biophilic Homes in Singapore: Kampung Admiralty
The Kampung Admiralty is a ground-breaking biophilic architectural marvel nestled within the vibrant urban landscape of Singapore. Within Kampung Admiralty, there is a harmonious blend of residential units, medical facilities, shops, and community spaces. This intentional mix creates a self-sustained ecosystem where residents can access essential services while remaining deeply connected to nature.
Designed with the essence of a ‘Kampung’, a traditional word for village, the building redefines the concept of community living by seamlessly merging nature, sustainability, and social harmony. At the heart of Kampung Admiralty lies a lush central plaza adorned with native plants, trees, and water features. This oasis serves as a meeting point, encouraging social interaction and relaxation amidst a natural setting. Offering panoramic views of the city is the rooftop garden, acting as a shared space for leisure, exercise, and communal activities and is one of this architectural marvel’s many sustainable and Biophilic elements.²
The Future of Built Environments
Biophilic design is a remarkable idea that holds incredible promise for crafting sustainable and eco-friendly living spaces that beautifully blend our ingenuity with the natural world. It’s about creating environments that not only meet our practical needs but also nurture our well-being.
Imagine living or working in spaces that reduce stress, boost your mood, supercharge productivity, sharpen cognitive function, and even promote healing. That’s the magic of biophilic design. It seamlessly merges the beauty of nature with the principles of sustainability and social harmony.
Take Singapore, for instance. It’s a shining example of how biophilic design can transform a cityscape. Think of groundbreaking structures like Kampung Admiralty, Jewel Changi Airport, Park Royal on Pickering,Oasis Hotel Downtown, Henderson Waves bridge, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park or Gardens by the Bay . These buildings are setting entirely new standards in sustainable architecture.
In today’s world, as we look ahead, embracing biophilic design is more critical than ever. It’s a way for us to create living spaces that not only serve our needs but also safeguard and cherish the environment. So, whether you’re an architect, a homeowner, or simply someone who cares about the future of our planet, biophilic design is a path worth exploring and embracing.
The article was authored by Jenifer F Dsouza, an environmental consultant with an M.S. degree from The University of Manchester, U.K. She has over seven years of experience in water technologies and is an ESG consultant. She advocates for environmental consciousness and is a content and technical writer for ecological issues. She has authored 11 peer-reviewed journals during her academic research with collaborative projects with MIT University, Boston.
- Reflections from the biophilic cities Singapore Summit, Biophilic Cities,
- Biophilic Architecture in Singapore — Ep 115, Youtube Video,