The Biomimetic Office Building
The Biomimetic Office represents a new paradigm as the first office building that has ever been comprehensively designed with biomimicry.
A concept study was carried out first with a minimum of constraints: there was no specific site, a very open brief and an enlightened approach to cost management that recognised not just capital cost but also long-term value. An excellent team was appointed which comprised some of the best design consultants in Europe and crucially involved a world-renowned professor of biomimetics. The concept study was followed by a commercial feasibility study which refined the design concepts and demonstrated that the scheme could be built for a realistic cost.
The team worked through all the key functional aspects of office design and found inspiration from spookfish, stone plants and brittlestars in devising daylighting solutions; bird skulls, cuttlebone, sea urchins and giant amazon water lilies for the structure; termites, penguin feathers and polar bear fur for the environmental control; and mimosa leaves, beetle wings and hornbeam leaves for the solar shading. The environmental engineer on the team has predicted that, when built, the Biomimetic Office will be one of the lowest energy office buildings in the world.
Exploration created a film about the Biomimetic Office Building for the Designing with Nature Exhibition at the Architecture Foundation in 2014. The film introduces biomimicry as a discipline and describes how we used this biologically inspired approach to radically rethink office design.
Client – BETTr The Biomimetic Office Building
Architects - Exploration Architecture
Biomimetic consultant - Julian Vincent
Cost consultant – Davis Langdon
Environmental Engineers – Atelier Ten
Fire Consultant - Arup Fire
Materials Consultant – Arup R&D
Structural Engineers – Expedition Engineering
Workplace consultant - Jane Clay