A big feature idea that I’m interested in for my project is biomimicry. I’d like to shy away from stereotypical modern architectural designs and make a building that resembles a plant with stem, leaf, and/or petal-like features.
It’s well documented that humans psychologically benefit from green space, and especially from spending time in natural environments like forests. As of 2022, Canadian citizens with depressive psychological diagnoses can actually be prescribed with visits to national forests. This isn’t a replacement for medication and therapy, but a highly beneficial (and scientifically supported) addition to it.
I think clusters of traditional buildings like blocky skyscrapers, while impressive, can create an imposing and inhuman mood. While I don’t think a big, tree-shaped building would fool anyone into thinking they were looking at a giant plant, I think the natural forms would still help put people more at ease, especially if the construction uses greens, earth tones, and floral colors.
To help meet sustainability goals, I’d like the structure to employ plant-themed renewable power generation. It could feature leaf or petal-like structures with solar panels, and wind turbines colored like flowers. The building should also be passively lit, heated, and cooled as much as possible. If the building is in a warm area, I may not want it to have tons of enormous curtain windows even if it would look pretty, so I may have a large, thermally reflective facade with smaller windows instead.
While exploring ideas, I asked DALL·E 2 for some pictures of plant and tree-shaped buildings. I also looked up some reference designs online:
prompt: a happy bright futuristic tree made of metal with lights and windows inside it, light background (I’m not a huge fan of the cream color, but other than that I really like this concept!)
prompt: a giant cyberpunk tree made of metal with windows and lights inside it (gloomier than what I’m looking for, but I like the rainbow colors and tiered structure!)
prompt: an office building shaped like broccoli (it definitely isn’t shaped like broccoli, but I really like the color and the facade!)
This image, from a listicle is unfortunately not given a proper attribution, but I think its pretty! (source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/home-property/74061288/thirty-magical-buildings-designed-to-look-like-other-things)
These “supertrees” from Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay nature park feature a combination of biomimetic architecture and live plants. (source: https://www.couldhavestayedhome.com/singapore/visiting-gardens-by-the-bay-and-supertree-grove/)
I really like these plant sculpture thingies at Shenzhen’s “Happy Coast Plaza”. (source: https://www.dreamstime.com/editorial-stock-image-crowds-tourists-shenzhen-happy-coast-plaza-every-chinese-public-holiday-there-full-crowded-image48542524)