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Biophilic Residence

Magdalena Herman

The two-family home, located on the south side of River Clyde in Glasgow, UK, has the main aim to benefit the biosphere as a whole, focusing on the act of ‘healing’ both through the design practices applicable to the occupants and the environment. Those two cannot exist separately or without each other, since the focus on one prevents achieving harmony between the human and the non-human. To counteract the negative impact of humans on the planet resulting in the new geological era- Anthropocene the project aims to set a precedent for soil decontamination. The established programme proposes a residential unit for two families with spaces designed to improve mental health and well-being.

The site located in the area with high chromium IV levels could be decontaminated through the natural process of mycoremediation. Through these treatments, the contaminants are broken into smaller molecules and consumed by fungi neutralising the soil. The rammed earth structure with the 3d printed roof aims to create a conscious relationship between the diverse environment and the area’s habitats, raising their knowledge about soil contamination. The project celebrates the soil as a building material, showcasing both traditional construction techniques such as rammed earth construction and innovative ones e.g. digital fabrication. The use of material once considered outdated with a new highly digitised technique brings new possibilities.

The understanding of the limitlessness of natural resources, therefore choosing primarily materials which are infinitely recyclable and biodegradable. Allowing and appreciating the unpredictability of nature in terms of environmental changes and the development of the flora and fauna simultaneously increases one’s contact with nature. That is proven to increase emotional well-being and positively impact mental health.

The Biophilic Residential is a two-family house with two flats respectively with 2 and 3 bedrooms. The building is split in half horizontally allowing one group of occupants to live downstairs and the second upstairs. The two parts are linked by a staircase which can be opened to create a closer connection between the neighbours. The space is designed with mental well-being in mind. Many conversation pits are designed to cultivate a feeling of community within the residents. Each of the spaces is placed in a way that the residents can overlook the semi-natural surroundings. The inhabitants of the first floor can use the staircases and balconies wrapped around the building to help them transition from their everyday lives to an oasis of calmness and peace where one can focus on their mental health.

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