Biophilia, the love of natural things, was first coined by psychologist Erich Fromm in the 1960s and later picked up momentum when used by biologist Edward O. Wilson in the late 1970s.
From centuries past to present day, designers have created structures that manifest this idea of biophilia into our lodgings or work environments because doing so improves mood and health.
Designers worldwide, from Asia to Europe to Vancouver to the States, incorporate engineered and real woods in their architecture and design to create spaces that feature the warmth of wood and the ingenuity of the human spirit.
This week we investigate 4 spaces that showcase the unmistakable warmth of wood.
In building construction, a selling point for engineered wood is its ability to be shipped in prefabricated sections and then easily assembled.
There is no better place for engineered wood (or solid wood for that matter) to show off its warmth than inside the home. From European white oak to ash to maple, many species exist for homeowners or builders to choose from.
Pictured above is Acadian from our Saltbox Collection. Crafted from hickory and maple, these vibrant engineered woods give an incredibly warm feeling. With its natural look, the wood creates a sense of softness. This can easily warm up and work in a traditional home. If your home design is contemporary with sleek, straight lines and minimal furnishings, then you are definitely a candidate for wood as you can use it for shelving, cabinetry or wall accents.
2. Building Exteriors and Interiors
The warmth of residential design translates well to other areas. A good deal of contemporary office and building design has moved away from the hard lines and stark features of the past. This is where engineered wood comes into play as it can be used on building exteriors, depending on the product and the environment.
The designers of the Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Fayetteville, Arkansas, envisioned a building with galleries, restaurant and office spaces. The hope was for the exterior to weather like the woods that surround this one-of-a-kind museum. They accomplished their vision. The museum’s exterior is composed of cement, copper and red cedar. When it rains, the materials change and deepen. The use of the cedar as banding is also a highlight in the interior.
3. Children’s Spaces
With our mission to find every child a home, utilizing wood to create inviting spaces for children is close to our hearts.
Children need to learn and play in a safe, warm and inviting environment, one that has some order but allows great freedom of movement also. Designing spaces for children can be challenging but incredibly rewarding. Designers are tasked to create a fun comfortable space that includes a creative way to store items, yet also entertain play by including such things as ramps or climbing walls.
Engineered wood is a great material to add warmth to children’s spaces given its resilience and ease of maintenance.
4. Healthcare Facilities
Who says that healthcare facilities have to be cold and bleak, with bland tiles and drab colors? A more natural environment has a positive impact on patients and healthcare workers.
Psychology Today relates a concept most of us would deem common sense but worth noting, “research consistently shows that seeing wood grain (responsibly harvested, of course) in our homes and offices boosts our mental well-being and performance; using wood with visible grain in interiors can be a good idea, a very good idea.”
The Duke Student Wellness Center exemplifies this with its use of wood in its ceilings, counter areas and furniture. The building features a plethora of windows and natural light as well as attractive exterior landscaping. With its nickname, DuWell, it has fulfilled its mission to be a design that positively affects students’ moods when they enter.
We hope you include wood in your design.
We believe the warmth of wood is uplifting and often vital for the construction of living spaces and offices.
If you have questions about using engineered or real wood to warm up your space, please get in touch today through our website or by phone, 877.215.1831.