Architectural designs that focus on humans and nature alike: Part 5

If there’s one thing that COVID-19 has done for sure, it’s waking us up to the fact that we need to live more sustainably and consciously…ASAP. In an initiative to encourage us to lead greener lives, architects have been incorporating sustainability into their designs. They have been opting for green roofs, and are attempting to create homes and workspaces that allow us to stay connected with nature. And not to mention these sustainable homes are extremely beautiful! I would sure love to make one of these green structures my home.

Green roofs have been growing slowly in popularity over the past decade, due to their economic and environmental advantages. They can reduce energy usage by 0.7% by providing natural insulation against heat and maintaining temperatures that are 30-40°F lower than conventional rooftops. The Black Villa also decreases the need for electricity by using skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Designed by Chang Architects, Cornwall Gardens is an open, green, and environment-friendly home for you and your family. Thick vegetation has been seamlessly integrated into the structure, creating a home that is always connected with nature. The architect describes it as a “cool tropical paradise”, and we wholeheartedly agree!

Located in Iran, the RAD facade design is another example of architecture meets nature! Designed by Ali Goshtasbi Rad, each window facade has been provided with ample space to accommodate some beautiful greenery. The end result? A quaint red brick building brimming with plants and lush greenery!

Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), CopenHill is an intriguing mesh of a waste-to-energy power plant, a ski slope, hiking and running trail, and a section of lush greenery right in the middle of bustling Copenhagen. Home to 7000 bushes, 300 pine and willows trees, plus other varieties of nature, CopenHill bears a beautiful connection to nature.

Designed by Studio precht, Bert looks exactly like a tree! The various homes branch out like a tree, creating a system of modular homes with spherical windows. The rooftop is also gushing with mini trees and shrubs, creating a green haven of sorts.

The Forest School was designed for Pune which is a popular student city that has seen dramatic urban growth in the last decade. Due to this boom, the air pollution in Pune was four times higher than the safe standard set by the World Health Organisation. The architect wanted to create a structure that served a purpose complemented by design – a healthy school environment, with opportunities for hands-on learning about the environment and climate change. The ‘green living skin’ serves to purify the air from pollutants and related challenges affecting the health of the inhabitants of a city.

In the Bosland forest of Limburg, Belgium, Burol and Schap designed a stilted 10-meter high cycling path, surrounded and weaving through trees and the lush forest. Giving you the feeling of flying, this path goes across the treetops and it would surely make for a great cycling adventure. I wonder if I ride fast enough, would I feel like Harry Potter, skimming the branches of the Forbidden Forest on a balmy summer evening!

The ambitious structure is called Delta after the Pearl River Delta and is designed to rise seamlessly from the river with an accessible green rooftop for visitors to soak in the natural setting. The roof is a public park that showcases organic geometries in the form of architecture. The dynamic shape has been inspired by a river stream that has a new view, a new bend, a new discovery at every turn. Similarly, the museum too will have different views at every turn overlooking the surrounding park, hills, and lake from the winding terraces.

This triangular cabin by Jacob Witzling and Sara Underwood has a very green roof! It makes for the perfect little getaway. You will be surrounded by nature and sheltered by a roof brimming with plants and shrubs. It could also work as a beautiful permanent residence if you’re okay with living in partial isolation!

PARK ROYAL on Pickering Hotel by Woha Architects is an explosion of green from whichever direction you approach it. Each curve of the building features gardens layered with reflecting pools, waterfalls, green walls, and sky gardens that are sure to relax you while helping promote the biodiversity in the city. Challenging the traditional boxy structure of hotels, this design is almost organic using the greenery to balance the electricity requirements of running a huge space like this.