Act Natural: can mankind live harmoniously with nature for a healthy functioning ecosystem and planet through the medium of architecture?
This thesis explores ways to integrate urban development in nature sensitive and environmentally conscious manner.
As an advocate for the natural environment and the conservation of wildlife, Gabrielle takes the premise that an empathy and understanding of nature should be at the root of good design. At this moment in the shared global environmental crisis, she believes that every architect has a responsibility to do their utmost to change the current mindset from focusing solely the ‘built environment’ to the ‘environment’. This will enable the creation of places which harmonise both the urban and natural realms.
Principles of nature were followed throughout the design process. Situated in Antwerp’s university campus, the thesis proposal uses the design of an Innovation Research Centre for Biomimicry to provide opportunity for the following:
To create more opportunities for biomimetic design which accommodates a cross-culture of disciplines which all take inspiration from the natural world to solve contemporary problems.
To bring nature back into the city and increase biodiversity.
To create soft touch and sympathetic architecture.
To explore natural and organic forms in the design.
This naturally led to further research into low key solutions and a design that retained and enhanced the integrity of the site through a ‘light touch’ approach to form and materials.