Biophilic Design: Transforming Spaces with Nature’s Touch

May 24, 2024

In an age where urban environments often detach us from nature, biophilic design has emerged as a transformative approach to reconnect our living and working spaces with the natural world. Rooted in the principle that humans have an innate affinity with nature, biophilic design integrates natural elements into built environments, enhancing well-being, creativity, and productivity. This design philosophy is gaining traction as a vital component in creating healthier, more enjoyable spaces.

sustinable wood flooring london
Wood flooring: Ecohardwood. Colour: Grey. Grade: Character. Architect: Dizaino virtuve (Gabija Pazarskyte, Karolina Juodeskaite-Jukne). Photo: Norbert Tukaj.
See more flooring installation project photos >>

Insights from Industry Leaders

Recently, the Ecohardwood team attended a discussion at the London Roca Gallery about biophilic design. Hosted by Oliver Heath (Oliver Heath Design) with guest panellists Paul de Zwart (Another Country), Vanessa Champion (Journal of Biophilic Design), and Adrian Byne (Benholm), the event highlighted why biophilic design is so important

According to Vanessa Champion, biophilic design is the essence and heartbeat of life. She emphasizes that "Nature is us," advocating for the healing, beautiful, and inspiring qualities of biophilic design that have the potential to transform lives for the better.

Adrian Byne noted the necessity of our connection with nature, describing biophilic design as a means to bring elements of nature into our spaces. He said that "biophilic design is good for us and has many benefits," underscoring its role in creating environments that are both enjoyable and productive.

Paul de Zwart highlighted the importance of natural materials, sense, and touch. "You can touch the wood, maintain it, repair it," he explained. This tactile connection to natural materials, he believes, makes us feel good and at ease when we enter a space.

roca gallery zaha hadid
Image: Roca Gallery, London.

Understanding Biophilic Design

Biophilic design is more than just a trend; it's a paradigm shift in architecture and interior design that focuses on incorporating natural elements into our environments. This approach leverages various strategies, such as natural light, plants, water features, natural materials, and organic forms, to create spaces that promote physical and psychological well-being. The core idea is to forge a connection between people and nature within the built environment, fostering a sense of tranquillity and harmony.

roca gallery zaha hadid
Image: Roca Gallery, London.

The Benefits of Biophilic Design

Numerous studies have shown that environments designed with biophilic principles can lead to significant improvements in health and productivity. Benefits include reduced stress, enhanced mood, increased creativity, and better cognitive function. For instance, offices that incorporate natural elements have been found to increase employee productivity by up to 15%, while hospital rooms with views of nature can accelerate patient recovery times. In residential spaces, biophilic design can create a serene retreat, improving overall quality of life.

Ecohardwood: A Natural Fit for Biophilic Design

Ecohardwood has been championing sustainable and biophilic design long before it became popular. Established 25 years ago by a former forester in a humble workshop, the Ecowood group has grown into one of Europe's largest oak manufacturers. With branches in England, Poland, Lithuania, and a global network of retailers, Ecohardwood remains unwavering in its pursuit of quality and sustainability.

The hallmark of Ecohardwood's products is their origin from mature oaks aged over 120 years. This unique feature is a testament to the circle of life, where these resilient and durable oaks, at the peak of their life expectancy, can be repurposed to thrive in our living spaces for many more decades. While these majestic oaks continue to serve us, the Ecowood group plants thousands of new ones each year, ensuring a sustainable future. Our wood floors, oak doors, and oak stairs, designed to last for generations, are a living testament to our commitment to longevity and sustainability.

Ecohardwood's dedication to sustainability is evident in every step of the production process. From careful wood selection to meticulous preparation and manufacturing, we oversee each phase to ensure that every product meets the highest quality standards. All Ecohardwood products are 100% European, FSC certified, and made with non-toxic, eco-friendly materials.

wood flooring london
Wood flooring: Ecohardwood. Colour: Grey. Grade: Character. Architect: Dizaino virtuve (Gabija Pazarskyte, Karolina Juodeskaite-Jukne). Photo: Norbert Tukaj.
See more flooring installation project photos >>

Here’s how Ecohardwood's oak products align with and enhance biophilic principles:

1. Natural Aesthetics and Warmth: Ecohardwood oak products bring the timeless beauty of natural wood into any space. The grain patterns, textures, and colours of oak provide a visual connection to nature, enhancing the aesthetic appeal and creating a warm, inviting atmosphere.

2. Sustainability and Eco-friendliness: Ecohardwood is committed to sustainable sourcing and environmental stewardship. Our oaks are harvested responsibly, ensuring that forests are managed and preserved for future generations. This commitment to sustainability resonates with the biophilic emphasis on respecting and nurturing the natural environment.

3. Healthier Indoor Environment: One of the key advantages of Ecohardwood's oak products is their contribution to a healthier indoor environment. Unlike synthetic materials, our oak products do not emit harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ensuring superior indoor air quality. This aligns perfectly with the biophilic design’s focus on creating environments that support human health and well-being, making our products a natural choice for those who prioritize a healthy living space.

4. Tactile and Sensory Engagement: The tactile experience of walking on or touching natural oak surfaces can be profoundly grounding. Ecohardwood's products offer a sensory connection to the natural world, a crucial element of biophilic design. The texture and warmth of oak underfoot can evoke the calming presence of nature, enhancing comfort and relaxation.

5. Durability and Longevity: Another key aspect of Ecohardwood's oak products is their durability and longevity. Oak is renowned for these qualities, and our high-quality oak products ensure that spaces remain beautiful and functional for years, reducing the need for frequent replacements and minimizing environmental impact over time. Like every natural element, natural wood becomes even more beautiful with age, showing life moments. For wood floors, you don’t need to replace the whole floor, only repair affected areas.

6. Versatility in Design: At Ecohardwood, we understand the importance of design flexibility. That's why we offer wood floors, oak doors, oak stairs and oak walls that can integrate into various design styles, from rustic to modern. This versatility allows designers to creatively incorporate natural elements into diverse environments, ensuring that biophilic principles can be tailored to specific aesthetic and functional requirements. With Ecohardwood, you can bring the beauty of nature into any space, regardless of its design style.

You can visit "Bio-Spaces: Regenerative, Resilient Futures," an experiential, multi-sensory exhibition encouraging a more nature-based approach to design. The exhibition is free and open at the Roca Gallery in London until September 30th, 2024. For more information, click here.

Hamilford Design have used Ecohardwood floors across multiple projects. The product is incredible and the team are extremely professional and efficient. We look forward to working with them in the future!
We recently collaborated with Ecohardwoods for our project in Ealing, and I must say, the experience was outstanding. A special thanks to Irmantas for his invaluable assistance. His expertise in engineered wood was evident in the quality of materials we received. The precision and quality of their engineered wood contributed immensely to the aesthetic and durability of our project. Our clients were extremely pleased with the results. Kudos to Irmantas and the Ecohardwoods team for their exemplary service and top-tier products. Highly recommend them for anyone in need of premium engineered wood supplies.
Highly motivated approach to customer service, exceptionally high quality flooring, delivered exactly on the day that was first estimated, extremely pleased and satisfied with the whole experience and will be placing another order in the next month or two for phase 2 of my flooring project.
The product was of excellent quality and very well finished. Beautiful solid light oak, planed on all faces and accurate. Speedy responses to queries before I placed my order, and then a completely smooth experience of ordering and receiving goods. Arrived well packed - really excellent experience - highly recommend Ecohardwood Ltd
We used Dune brushed throughout our new house renovation. Absolutely love it. Beautiful tone, interesting details, hard wearing. I did wax the floors after installation as recommended which takes some time but makes all the difference. Highly recommend.
Ecohardwood Ltd - Hardwood Oak Flooring & Engineered Wood Floors London
(70) 5/5