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Biophilic design: nurturing connection with indoor-outdoor spaces

in biophilic design

Indoor-outdoor spaces represent an interesting layout option to strengthen the connection between the built environment and the natural world.

Incorporating several biophilic design features, they create a seamless connection between the interior and the outdoors, that extends beyond physical aspects…

interest and connection

Indoor-outdoor spaces usually feature fully glazed walls, which offer multiple occasions to increase contact with and connection to the surroundings.

Wide windows let plenty of natural light and fresh air into the space. Framing the outdoor scene, they highlight its daily and seasonal changes as well as the movements, sounds and sensory inputs that happen outdoors, thus stimulating interest and curiosity towards them. A view over a natural scene will also establish a strong visual connection with nature and contribute to the identity bond between the interior and its surroundings.

Through full-height windows, indoor-outdoor spaces also elongate the view beyond the building box. This contributes to a calming sense of prospect while turning the whole interior into a refuge vantage point.

Full-height pivoting door that almost seamlessly connects the interior to a terrace with a wide view.
Credit: Studio KO

shifting behaviours

In blurring the physical boundaries between inside and outside, indoor-outdoor spaces also blur the behavioural limits related to the use of space.

A design that seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor creates the feeling of one cohesive area, inviting a fluid use of space. It also becomes more natural to maintain this connection, which may reflect in a healthier use of artificial lighting, one that follows the flow of sunlight.

Dining room with full windows overlooking the garden.
Credit: Manuel Cervantes Estudio – Ph: Rafael Gamo
Indoor-outdoor living space overlooking the ocean.
Credit: Spasm Design – Ph: PHX India

Indoor-outdoor living spaces clearly show how layout decisions influence the use of space which – in turn – can support the connection between people and the natural world.

Biophilic design resources by anooi:
A Biophilic YearApplying Biophilic DesignVisual Library of Biophilic Design