However, over the last few years, there has been a new shift due to research and innovation in the field of architecture and science. The new proposals of nature inclusive architecture slowly shift from mimicking the nature to actually incorporating micro-organisms and natural elements such as algae within the buildings.
Architects and researchers including among others, Richard Beckett, Simone Ferracina, Marco Poletto, David Benjamin and Jenny Sabin are a few active developers of ideas such as the living brick. According to Richard Beckett “Architecture is shifting away from having a skin” , meaning that, as an architect, the concept of a building has changed from being a skeleton with a façade acting as a skin, towards a living and breathing organism that enhances our life and protects our environment.
Within a talk held at the Building Centre in London, Richard Beckett, director of BioA Lab, at The Bartlett, University College London, proposed an interesting idea of pH level manipulation within materials such as concrete, in order to create a living environment for micro-organisms .
These pH experiments had as a goal achieving a more neutral level within concrete in order to integrate micro-organisms on building facades which would provide a living building. The lecture called Living architecture: Can micro-organisms help to build our cities and power them too? explores the possibilities within architectural materials, with the goal of providing a more nature inclusive urban landscape.
The incorporation of natural elements such as micro-organisms within our buildings would imply a more sustainable future through air filtration, use of micro-organism as source of green energy.
Furthermore, since, according to Richard Beckett, “nature cannot be controlled and it will grow on its own will” , this provides a perfect opportunity to increase the efficiency of our urban fabric.
Combining the micro-organisms within building materials and also applying greenery over buildings, and leaving it to grow freely, we will arrive at a point of balanced bio-receptive architecture.
These nature inclusive solution will provide a sustainable future due to the fact that, by leaving nature take ownership and enhance our urban fabric, we create a natural and balanced living scenario that would work as a cyclical environment and not as a linear, wasteful one. Through responsive architecture and design, we provide a pallet of organisms and plant species that are linked and have several properties such as water filtration, air filtration and energy generation.
This is a guest post written by Timea-Laura Tifan.
Timea is an architecture student with passion for the environment. You could say she is an ‘architect who gives a plant’. Throughout her studies, she incorporates nature within her design and strives for a sustainable built environment.
She is excited about nature inclusive architecture and in her free time she runs her own blog. With her roots being in beautiful Romania, she incorporates natural traditional design from home into sustainable solutions for dense urban fabrics.
 Becket, R., Ferracira, S., Poletto, M. and Rimbu, G. (2017). Living architecture: can microorganisms help to build our cities and power them too?