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WHAT IS BIOMIMETIC ARCHITECTURE AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT PART1


WHAT IS BIOMIMICRY?

Biomimicry or biomimetics is the imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems.

‘From my designer’s perspective, I ask: Why can’t I design a building like a tree? A building that makes oxygen, fixes nitrogen, sequesters carbon, distils water, builds soil, accrues solar energy as fuel, makes complex sugars and food, creates microclimates, changes colours with the seasons and self replicates. This is using nature as a model and a mentor, not as an inconvenience. It’s a delightful prospect…’ (McDonough and Braungart, 1998)

BIOMIMETIC ARCHITECTURE:

Biomimetic architecture is a contemporary philosophy of architecture that seeks solutions for sustainability in nature, not by replicating the natural forms, but by understanding the rules governing those forms. It is a multi-disciplinary approach to sustainable design that follows a set of principles rather than stylistic codes. It is part of a larger movement known as biomimicry, which is the examination of nature, its models, systems, and processes for the purpose of gaining inspiration in order to solve man-made problems.

HISTORY:

Throughout history, architects have looked to nature for inspiration for building forms and approaches to decoration. Biomorphism, or the incorporation of natural existing elements as inspiration in design, originated possibly with the beginning of man-made environments and remains present today.


Greeks and Romans- natural motifs into design such as the tree-inspired columns.


The Sagrada Família church by Antoni Gaudi began in 1882 is a well-known example of using nature’s functional forms to answer a structural problem. He used columns that modeled the branching canopies of trees to solve statics problems in supporting the vault.


Late Antique and Byzantine- arabesque tendrils are stylized versions of the acanthus plant.


The TWA terminal at John F Kennedy Airport, New York, in which Eero Saarinen used biomorphic forms to capture the poetry of flight.


Frank Lloyd Wright likened the columns in the Johnson Wax building to water lilies and, while they create a spectacular space, they have nothing functionally in common with lily leaves


Burdock burr were the source of inspiration for George de Mestral – the Swiss engineer who invented Velcro. Apparently after some recent frustration with zips, he noticed the way that burdock burrs clung to his dog’s coat and, after studying them with a magnifying glass, designed the first version of the now-ubiquitous fastening



Le Corbusier appears to have made deliberate reference to the cleansing function of kidneys in the design of the washrooms for the inbuilt Olivetti Headquarters project


TO BE CONTINUED

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