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Biophilic moodboards: outdoor views

in biophilic moodboards

Connecting people and nature is one of the objectives of a biophilic approach to design.

This episode of Biophilic Moodboards looks into 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 beautiful 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

about outdoor views

Views blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. Having the chance to look out is a simple yet not trivial condition that connects interior spaces to their context. A view enriches life indoors with the awareness of daily and seasonal changes. This includes natural light changes, which play a crucial role in balancing the circadian rhythm.

A view of nature will also frame the shapes, colours, textures, movements, and sensory richness that come from outdoors, creating a living artwork.

An indoor-outdoor living space with big trees outdoors.
Credit: Studio Four

designing for outdoor views

To make the most of them, views should be considered as part of the design. Preferring big windows, orienting the interior layout to frame a view, or creating indoor-outdoor living spaces are all examples of design decisions that take the view into account.

By definition, a view is visual, but it may extend to other senses as well. An open window will let in sounds and scents, and further sensory interactions could be introduced by creating the occasion to touch or eat nature.

A bedroom with fully glazed wall looking into the forest
Credit: LumiPod

creating an outdoor view

Not all interiors have access to a view of nature, but a view can also be created. Any balcony, patio, internal courtyards, garden, or window sill can be turned into some sort of biophilic view. Greenery, water features, and other natural elements combined will create a rich and engaging landscape.

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

“Visual access to biodiversity is reportedly more beneficial to our psychological health than access to land area (i.e., quantity of land).”
Cit. Fuller, Irvine, Devine-Wright et al., 2007

Dining room surrounded by greenery, visible through arched openings.
Credit: CO-LAB – Ph: Cesar Bejar
A bathtub looking into a private garden.
Credit: Cocoon Bathroom

the importance of native plants

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

From a biophilic perspective, this will set a closer connection to the local 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 influence the delicate composition of the soil if planted directly in it. As a whole, native plants contribute to the health and balance of local ecosystems and – on a global level – they support biodiversity.

Bedroom overlooking an indoor courtyard.
Credit: César Béjar Studio

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