Enhancing The Human-Nature Connection Through Biophilic Design In the Built Environment: A Branch Library on the Banks of Lake Union
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The theory of biophilia states that we as humans have an affinity for and a biological need to connect with nature, living systems and processes. Research on the topic has demonstrated that the strength of this connection impacts on our personal wellbeing, productivity and societal relationships. With an increasing percentage of the global population living in urban areas, understanding these connections, the importance of them and how they can inform an architectural approach becomes even more important. Rooted in the research of the topics of biophilia and biophilic design, this thesis includes a translation of lessons learned from experience and analysis of projects in Nordic and Baltic countries through the lens of biophilic design. It explores the role architecture can have in enhancing the human-nature connection to both a general and project specific design approach, developing and refining frameworks and methodologies for analyzing and understanding the topic, how it relates to architecture and can be implemented in the design process. As part of the continued refinement, this thesis applied the developing ideas to see how this biophilic design approach can inform and connect a program, context and architectural response to meet the project design goals of reconnecting and enhancing the human-nature connection through a branch Public Library of the banks of Lake Union in Seattle, Washington. As a result, fostering and enhancing a biophilic connection and creating opportunities for engagement through the architecture that did not otherwise exist.
- Architecture