What is biophilic design?

Who doesn’t know it? After a stressful week just getting out into nature to take a deep breath and recharge your batteries. After all, nature is a place of retreat and relaxation for most people - for some even a source of inspiration.
This is a good example of the positive influence nature has on us humans. And that is exactly what the so-called biophilic design makes use of in architecture and interior design.

“Biophilia” comes from ancient greek bios "life" and philia "love" and means something like "love of life" or "love of the living".
Accordingly, biophilic design is about using elements from nature to increase the well-being of its users. These not only affect people's moods, but also their creativity and productivity.

Biophiles Design Raumgestaltung im Hotel Luise

In 2014, the sustainable consulting firm 'Terrapin Bright Green' published the '14 Patterns of Biophilic Design', which describe the basic principles of biophilic design and give a good overview.
Overall, biophilic design is divided into three categories: biophilic design in space (including views, fresh air, water and light), analogies to nature (materials, shapes, complexity and order) and nature/characteristics of the space (feeling of security and Panorama).

Biophilic design in space

Visible connection to nature (visible nature-related elements, e.g. plants in the room or windows with a view of nature) The many living green plants in the hotel are a good example for this. These can not only be found in every room, but also in all public areas in the hotel. In addition, from every room you have a view of the naturally green (front) garden, despite the city center location.

Invisible connection to nature: senses such as hearing, touching, smelling provide a connection to nature (sounds (e.g. birdsong, rain), smells (e.g. of plants))
As soon as you enter the regrowing room, you can perceive a natural scent - that of straw and hay. This was used in ceilings and walls in the form of OSSB panels and provides a natural scent. And in other areas such as the spa, natural fragrances are also used and thus create a connection to nature.

Irregular sensory stimuli: random and transient connections with nature (e.g. facades with moving designs, display designs, flowing water, etc.)
In front of the breakfast room you can find a special recycling art work made from Styrofoam leftovers. Targeted lighting and a built-in mirror create an optical illusion. One has the feeling of looking down an endlessly long mountain tunnel.
Another example is a video photo frame next to the elevator. There you can see nature shots of our biotope.

Changing temperature and air conditions: Slightly changing air temperature/humidity, drafts, etc. (e.g. due to opening windows, visible mechanical ventilation, etc.)
The glass corridor is a connecting element between the buildings. However, this is open at the top and bottom and thus creates a climatic change on the way through the house.

Presence of water: seeing, hearing, feeling water on site (e.g. water surfaces in the entrance area, water walls)
In and around the hotel you will find various water places where you can relax and listen to the rippling water. Some examples are the stream at the entrance, the biotope in the shepherd's garden or the waterfall in the deep courtyard.

Dynamic and diffuse light: Creation of different light and shadow conditions (e.g. daylight from different angles, firelight, light distribution)
In the breakfast room and conference room, spotlights with different attachments create different lighting conditions and mimic rays of sunshine from different directions. Thus, an attempt is made to combine the lighting conditions through the windows with the interior lighting.

Connection to natural systems (rooms with patios or roof terrace, native plants growing/dying seasonally)
In our conference room there are several glass doors that provide a view of the inner courtyard, which is naturally green.
And the roof terrace is not only made of wood, but also of nature in the form of a roof garden. In addition, you have a beautiful view of our Franconian fruit garden in our breakfast room.

Analogies to nature

Biomorphic shapes and patterns: outlines, structures, patterns as they occur in nature (e.g. natural colors, organic shapes)
Behind the reception is an art work, which has different patterns and outlines and is completely decorated in natural shades of brown and orange.
In addition, the walls in the stairwell and partly in the spa have a specific, natural-looking structure, which was created using a special spatula technique.

Material with local context: material and elements from nature related to the region (wood, clay, earth, wool, etc.)
Local woods, stones and more can be found in many places in the hotel. For example, the ice cube grotto in the spa is surrounded by several natural wood trunks.

Complexity and order: rich sensory information (e.g. carpet designs and patterns, repeating and symmetrical patterns)
In the regrowing rooms, the tiles in the bathrooms, which are mainly made of clay and sand, create different patterns.

Nature of the space

View/Overview: View over a certain distance (e.g. view, open floor plan, transparent materials, elevated levels)
We aim to give every guest the opportunity to let their gaze wander. While on the roof terrace and in our event room it is the view over the roofs of Erlangen, in the rooms it is the view of the natural garden with terraced ups and downs.

Retreat: A place of refuge from the environment or everyday life where the individual is sheltered above and behind (e.g., four-poster beds, gazebos, trees for shelter, seats in bay windows)
The former room 20, which was recently remodeled, offers various cozy retreats for guests.
And the spa with its relaxation area or our event room under the roof with a hidden seating area invites you to relax and unwind.

Mystery/Hiding place: The promise of further information due to partially obscured views or other sensory devices that encourage the occupant of a space to immerse deeper into the environment (e.g. mazes, hidden pathways, windows with privacy screens, obscured view of focal objects)
Hidden in a former wardrobe is probably the smallest conference room in the world: our Think in Box.
Other examples are our "Closet from Narnia" (a door that looks like an old closet from the outside), winding hotel corridors or the breakfast room with niches. The low courtyard only becomes apparent when you turn a corner.

Risk/ Danger: an identifiable danger associated with reliable protection (e.g. heights, gravity, water, transparent railings or floor panels)
The connecting corridor between the two hotel buildings, the so-called "glass corridor", offers a special experience, especially in bad weather. The glazing and the openings above and below give you the feeling of being in the middle of the garden and experiencing the thunderstorm live. In this way you are safely protected, but you also perceive the threat of this nature experience. Another example is our roof terrace where you are at a great height but still feel safe.

Neueste Storys

Urlaub mit dem Drahtesel in Erlangen

Damit du und dein zweirädriger Gefährte den perf… mehr

Umweltfreundlich unterwegs mit Hund

Wer einmal auf den Hund gekommen ist, möchte am l… mehr

What is biophilic design?

Who doesn’t know it? After a stressful week just… mehr