Google strategically integrates biophilia in new Chicago offices 

 Google strategically integrates biophilia in new Chicago offices 

“Increasingly, green building project teams have attempted to incorporate biophilic design into their projects, but often their efforts amount to adding trees and plants or water features to their buildings. I believe this is because nothing in their training or backgrounds has prepared them for this exercise, and their experience with green building rating systems has trained them to fulfill the minimum requirements of a checklist without thinking past that step. True biophilic design goes much further and deeper.”



This excerpt from Amanda Sturgeon’s new book, Creating Biophilic Buildings, looks at how Google employed biophilic principles in every aspect of their Chicago headquarters design. Google turned a windowless cold storage warehouse into a light-filled space. Key biophilic elements:

  • Daylighting promotes circadian rhythms and reduce stress. Task lights with color temperature settings
  • Places of refuge – private spaces where employee can feel protected but not unconnected
  • Direct visual connections to the outdoors
  • Video walls that undulate patterns of nature

She stresses the need for making biophilia part of the design strategy, rather than placing a few green things around as an afterthought.


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