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Biophilic Eye

Andres J. Mora

The Biophilic Eye functions as an open plan, 225 sq. m. circular living space designed to maximize unobstructed outside views and foster closeness with nature. The form and arrangement of the space creates an interconnected housing program that centers around a single open area. The absence of dividing walls allows for the space to breathe and appear larger than it is, while simultaneously accommodating inside comfort within a smaller footprint that maximizes available space for outside greenery. It seeks to break the material barriers between architecture and the outside world through a design that speaks of architectural softness and perceptive immateriality, allowing the greenery that looks back from the outside to take center stage in the day-to-day experience.
A sequence of eye-shaped windows act as the focal gesture of the project, arranged circularly and creating an uninterrupted 360° field of view. Their form mimics the look of an eye and metaphorically functions as the house and its users' own eye to outside nature, creating framed views that can be appreciated from every corner of the house. The scale of the same allows the project to rely on natural light to illuminate the interior throughout the day. This influx of light is controlled through a kinetic shading system composed of filament-like structures that react to temperature changes, monitored by temperature sensors. The overall design of the window system works as an homage to the biological structures that provide us with one of the greatest gifts of life and the root principle of biophilia: the ability to appreciate the natural world around us.
A central living wall system invites greenery directly into the interior, making the project simultaneously visual and sensorial. Bringing greenery into the interior of the living space enhances the intimacy between user and nature, creating opportunities for direct engagement through touch and smell. The living wall gives the user a sense of duty towards the environment being created within the microcosm of the Biophilic Eye. And thus, the state of the wall reflects the health of the house’s ecosystem. The structure functions as a hollow central column where plants are grown along its edges, centering the space to create a feeling of complete immersion within the natural world. The living wall additionally acts as a rainwater management device, catching rainwater into a basin that will distribute it to the living plants through an irrigation system.
The Biophilic Eye is designed to invite nature into the human home and make its user feel that they never left the outdoors. We look at nature through the Biophilic Eye and nature looks back at us just the same.

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