How biophilic design has influenced the hospitality industry

Biophilic design is an architectural and interior design trend that is beginning to spring up all around. Brought forth by the pursuit of nature and sustainability in architecture and design, biophilic design has been utilized to bring human life closer to nature even in the buzzing cities. What biophilic design essentially entails is the use of greenery, natural and nature inspired elements to create a serene space that makes one feel closer to nature. In general, having greenery or natural elements around a space are known to exude a positive vibe and a feeling of freshness. The hospitality industry, thus, too is embracing the biophilic design trend as a way to create designs that improve the overall experience for consumers, while also making a move towards a greener and more sustainable approach for the industry. 


Greenery decked hotel

Biophilic design is the ultimate pick, for it serves the purpose of both aesthetic appeal and sustainability. Incorporating natural elements into the architecture and interior design is a fairly simple and efficient way to embrace this trend. In the hospitality industry, it is very clear that the involvement of nature not only brings a positive experience but also adds to the economic benefit. This is evident when one looks at the prices for hotels or even home stays. Ones that are either surrounded by nature, or have some sort of nature inspired oasis built into it tend to be able to charge more than regular hotels amongst cities. This premium price is justifiable by the escape that it brings for visitors and guests, giving them a calming and positive environment while they visit the premises. In totality, incorporating biophilic design is both a positive and profitable proposition for the industry. 

Below is a look at how the hospitality industry has and can further inculcate biophilic design into their spaces. 


Hotel room balcony with view of the forest

People who spend their time otherwise in the busy cities, hope for a calming retreat when they take a break. Views of nature are thus highly favored. Hotels and restaurants are concentrating on creating spaces pocketed by nature to create the ideal look and ambience of their spaces. While in terms of restaurants, green restaurants, utilizing greenery or set in locations such as parks and forests to give the effect of being amidst nature, are trending.

Know more about green restaurants in our recent blog. Hotels, chains and homestays are also moving more towards localities and areas where nature and greenery surrounds the premises giving the guests a lovely escape from their routine lives. Continuing this pursuit would allow for a better and more positive experience for visitors, benefitting the industry back. 


Biophilic hotel lobby

Biophilic themed lobbies are being installed increasingly by hotels around the world. Creating a biophilic lobby is  a simple way to give the effect of being amidst nature and enriching the guest’s experience. The idea to create a biophilic lobby, is to utilize greenery and natural elements to create a positive environment. It can be done by simply adding a lot of plants, or cladding walls with stones and incorporating water fountains or bodies, mimicking a natural oasis to give a positive effect.

Not only does this help form a natural retreat for guests to relax in but actually makes the lobby a place that guests would want to spend time in. Stepping away from the simple reception desk, a biophilic lobby is definitely the way to stand out. Infact a study by International Scientific Journal of Environmental Science indicated through surveys that guests were 36% more likely to spend time in a biophilic lobby area as opposed to a conventional one, making biophilic lobbies a beneficial prospect for both hotels and guests. 



Athaneum hotel, London with a vertical garden installation on the exterior

Vertical gardens are a trendy outcome of the pursuit for biophilic design. Vertical gardens are a gorgeous and modern way to incorporate greenery into a space. They can be used to add a splash of nature to the interiors or even deck up the exteriors. Since they are mounted onto walls and pillars, vertical gardens give the look without taking up too much space. Restaurants, hotels and even commercial spaces have been welcoming to the addition of vertical gardens as a way to give nature’s touch to a space while also helping the environment.

They have come to be a feature frequently found in restaurants and hotels, usually to create an accent space, which looks great. Continuing the use of vertical gardens is a contemporary way to achieve the biophilic look. They can also be incorporated into guest rooms/indoor spaces to add to the ambience. 



Hotel room utilising wooden floors, plants and wicker furniture for a natural look 

Adding up to the pursuit of biophilic design, going for a nature inspired interior design is a great way to create an organic feel to a space. To do so, textures, patterns, colors, and materials derived from nature can be put together creatively. Tropical themed wallpapers, wooden finish floors, wicker furniture, soft green color schemes or stone clad walls are just some of the ways to incorporate natural and inspired elements to create a positive atmosphere just about anywhere. Such interiors are suitable for restaurants and hotels alike, helping effortlessly ace the biophilic trend. 


Rimba Jimbaran hotel, Bali, which utilising recycled wood, iron and glass in building and interiors

Swapping regular materials for more sustainable and eco-friendly options is key to the mission of biophilic design. Biophilic design is essentially encouraging proximity to and regard for nature. Therefore, trying to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible is important. In doing so, many hotels and restaurants have firstly made changes in their functionality. From utilizing renewable energy resources such as solar power to working actively to reduce waste generated, there have been a lot of different initiatives.
One of the most impressive ones has been the utilization of recycled materials for building and furnishing to create an eco-friendly space.Be it organic linens or carbon absorbing cork floor/wall panels, there are a lot of materials in the market that can be used. This proves better for the environment, and also gives the visitors a positive consciousness while visiting such a place knowing that the best has been done to be as sustainable as possible. 


Resort room with glass door giving a view of greenery 

A biophilic aligned layout can help add to the overall design and atmosphere. Be it in a restaurant or a hotel, placement and layout with proximity to nature in mind can really help. This could be done in a lot of ways. First is to utilize and diffuse natural light effectively throughout a space. From anti bacterial function, to creating a bright and lively atmosphere, natural light is just what a space needs. Further, setting up furniture in a way that there is a view of the outdoors either from the tables or from the bed, to give the guests a gorgeous and relaxing view.

Adding window seats or balcony spaces that act as pockets to nature for the visitors can also be helpful. Simultaneously, to utilize views of the sky, glass walls or skylights can also be utilized to seamlessly blend the outdoors with the indoors, creating a soothing environment. This approach can be extended to simple elements such as a tree bark like pillars, or honeycomb mimicking roof designs, to utilize nature’s beauty to add to the experience. 

In summation, biophilic design is not just a trend but a necessity in the current state of the environment.SInce the pandemic set in, the importance of stepping out and into nature has only increased as people have been restricted to the confines of their home. Embracing biophilic design at such a time thus becomes especially essential and beneficial.  Especially for the hospitality industry, moving towards biophilic design can prove to help actually create a pleasant experience for their visitors. Utilizing greenery and sustainable and eco friendly materials in the building and design, further helps contribute to the global mission of environmental conservation while fulfilling the corporate social responsibility of the industry.


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