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biophilic moodboards: outdoor views

in biophilic moodboards

Connecting people with nature is one of the main objectives of a biophilic approach to design. In this episode of Biophilic Moodboards we’ll focus on visual connection with nature, exploring one of the main ways to achieve it in interiors: outdoor views.

Moodboard showing 3 examples of biophilic design with great outdoor views. 1: An indoor-outdoor living space with big trees outdoors. 2: A bedroom with fully glazed wall looking into the forest. 3: A bathtub looking into a private garden.
Credits (from top left): Studio Four, LumiPod, Cocoon Bathroom. Moodboard: anooi studio

outdoor views and wellbeing

Being able to look outdoors and into nature has been shown* to lower stress levels, improve concentration, and provide an overall sense of happiness.

If nature can also be touched, smelled and heard stimulating our more ancestral senses, the experience will become even more engaging and the benefits will be amplified.

designing for outdoor views

Views break the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. And if there’s a natural scene outdoors, looking out will make nature part of everyday life, which is not obvious especially when living in the city.

To make the most of outdoor views, it’s important to consider them as part of the design. This will translate into different design strategies, such as preferring big windows, orienting the layout to frame the view, and creating indoor-outdoor living spaces.

Kitchen with window in place of the backsplash.
Credit: GlobeWest
A bedroom with fully glazed wall looking into the forest
Credit: LumiPod

creating an outdoor view

Not all interiors have access to a view onto nature. But when not available, a biophilic view can also be created.

Any balcony, patio, garden and window sill can be turned into some sort of biophilic view. Greenery, water features, and other natural elements can be combined to create a rich and engaging landscape to look at. The same applies to internal courtyards, which carve a corner for nature right in the middle of a building. Other examples are green buildings, which take the concept of creating a biophilic view to a wider level. Buildings that host plants in their structure create a view to enjoy from the interior and serve the entire neighbourhood adding a rich and healthy design feature.

When crafting an outdoor view, quality is more important than quantity. It has been proven* that the diversity and variability in the view are more important than its actual size. So any small balcony can make a big difference if it welcomes a variety of natural elements.

A bathtub looking into a private garden.
Credit: Cocoon Bathroom
Indoor courtyard spanning the length of a corridor.
Credit: Jacobs Yaniv Architects – Ph: Yoav Gurin
Bosco Verticale, a couple of green buildings in Milan completely covered in plants.
Credit: Stefano Boeri Architetti - Ph: anooi studio
Green building in Bangkok completely covered in plants.
Credit: Shma

the importance of native plants

Whenever choosing plants for the outdoors, it’s important to prefer native species.

From a biophilic perspective, this will help set a closer connection to the surroundings, giving a more authentic identity to the space. But native plants also make sense for environmental reasons. Any outdoor plant interacts with the environment in one way or another. All plants attract wildlife and – if planted directly in the soil – they also influence its delicate composition. In short, native plants strengthen the local ecosystem and – on a global level – they help promote biodiversity.

Outdoor dining area totally surrounded by greenery.
Credit: Jeffrey Faranial (via Behance)

* Sources

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