A focus on biophilic design

Commercial architectureA lot of businesses in the modern world are considering how they can enhance their commercial architecture. One of the main goals is to make it so that spaces have a good impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of employees. A good way to do this is to choose biophilic design. The idea is to use designs that capture the patterns you can find in nature. High profile companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple have invested in this kind of design for their buildings.


The original hypothesis for biophilic design dates back to 1993. Since then there has been a huge amount of research into it and the benefits it can offer. Today there is a huge amount of information about the benefits and how to utilise different natural patterns in buildings.

What to incorporate into a design

There are a number of different things you can do to introduce more natural patterns into a piece of commercial architecture. Some of the best things to do include:

Provide visual connections with nature

This could be something as simple as ensuring people have views of green spaces. In addition, it could be providing connections to living systems like gardens or growing walls.

Provide non-visual connections

In some buildings it is impossible to give people views of nature and natural systems. When this is the case you can provide similar stimuli to what would be found in nature. For example it could be auditory, haptic, and/or olfactory.

Variable airflows and temperatures

When you are outside you will notice that the airflow and temperature are not constant. Instead they can vary greatly. You can introduce this kind of thing into a building by choosing systems that make subtle changes to airflows, temperatures, and even humidity. It can make people feel like they are outside rather than indoors.


Seeing, hearing, and touching water can all have a calming effect on people. As a result you can enhance the experience they have by choosing things like fountains, ponds, fish tanks, and even feature walls with water flows.


Another thing that can vary greatly in nature is lighting. Again you can mimic this in your commercial architecture. What you can look at is dynamic and diffuse lights. They can change the intensity of light in spaces and create different shadows to make it feel more natural.

Seasonal change

Another pattern to think about is how things in nature change with the seasons. You can incorporate this into a design. It will help to create a healthy ecosystem within the building.

Talk to us about your commercial architecture

Coffey Architects has a real passion for creating buildings that benefit people. We want to do this whether we are designing a home, an office, or even something niche like a library. Including more natural patterns can really enhance these spaces. We would love to explore the ideas with clients to help them decide what they want to do.

So, if you want to speak to us about any project, whether it is commercial architecture, domestic, or public, get in touch. You can also learn more about us on our main website.