How can Architecture “Rejuvenate” its Inhabitants?

Dear Friends,  

ODA Architecture’s annual retreat in September was centered on “rejuvenation” as everyone has been working tirelessly through a very productive year. We selected Asheville, NC as our destination and stayed at The Foundry Hotel, which is part of The Curio Collection by Hilton, managed by our client, Raines Hospitality. This repurposed hotel was once a steel factory. 
Americans spend 90% of their time indoors. ODA decided to contradict this trend and spend as much time outdoors as possible to be in touch with nature and rejuvenate. This mission included lengthy mountain hikes to discover hidden waterfalls, zip-lining, and enjoying dining, programs, and entertainment outdoors in courtyards and on rooftop terraces.
This got me thinking about how architects can design buildings to help people rejuvenate and enjoy nature 90% of the time that they are indoors.  Biophilia, as an architectural strategy, came to mind. While most of our clients think of biophilia as “trees”, this concept delves much deeper “Biophilia” was coined in 1984 and is literally translated as “love of life”, alluding to the basic need for humans to affiliate with all life forms in nature.
Biophilic architecture is complementary with “organic architecture” coined by Frank Lloyd Wright, and “green architecture” which has a mission for healthy buildings that are environmentally friendly. All three concepts should be integrated comprehensively in architecture.
Architecture can embrace nature in many ways to rejuvenate the building’s users.  Besides providing an abundance of trees, other strategies include flooding the building with natural light, allowing views to nature, using shapes and forms found in nature.  Natural materials, textures and colors help humans to affiliate with nature. To assist with the rejuvenation process, buildings should appeal to all 5 senses by creating rich experiences that blend sight, sounds, touch, smells, and taste.
It is a fact that nature has healing powers. Nature improves our overall sense of well-being, minimizes depression, improves our heart rates, and reduces stress from constantly staring at screens, phones, iPads, TVs, and computers.
“Rejuvenate” is translated to mean “make something young again”. Creating architecture that rejuvenates should be a goal for all buildings and is a gift to the owner and the building users. The Foundry Hotel accomplished this mission.  While I couldn’t make myself “young again” on our mountain hike, it was rejuvenating to spend the weekend outdoors enjoying nature with the amazing team of ODA professionals. 

Scroll to Top