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Fig: 1 - Humans try to find solace in their natural outgoings.


Since the beginning of time, humankind has lived in natural settings surviving on nature’s unadulterated bounty. Harmony with nature was achieved as they understood their dependency on it for survival and its role in the cycle of life.

Over time, the complicated working of the world has made us forget about our strong relationship with nature and we grew apart. There is segregation, encroachment, and exploitation of nature and its resources for the superficial satisfaction of man’s desires.

In the current trend of urbanisation, less and less access to green spaces, natural light, and organic materials is available. Green spaces are desired by everyone, but even so, initiatives to incorporate greenery into living spaces are rarely seen.

Over our evolutionary time, an innate desire to associate with nature is experienced by people. The revival of our inherent connection with nature is significant to humankind’s health and well-being.

Can humans find their way back to nature?

Fig: 2 - Dense concrete jungles are devoid of greenery on a large scale.


Human habitats are built to fulfill their needs as biological beings, living in a natural setting. Biophilic designing can be used to fulfill this initiative. It is much more than bringing the outside in, it is about making a strong connection with all aspects found in nature like plants, light, materials, textures, and patterns.

Our inclination towards interacting with nature is primal, and we need to strengthen this bond by creating sustained contact in our everyday lives. A majority of our time is spent in our homes, so we need to embed our living quarters with biophilia.

The paradox of built environments is such that most places benefit economically due to their proximity to greenery or view of natural scenery in the city, but at the same time, new construction projects keep coming up in want of more land, so more nature keeps getting wiped out.

How can biophilia be used to resolve this paradox?

Fig: 3 - Along with development, a lot of environmental issues have come up in cities.


Brief: Design a single residence for a family, incorporating biophilic design principles. We need to integrate nature into our built environment so that we can co-exist and live as one.

The interventions proposed as part of the biophilic design must be in synergy with the wider environmental context of the site. Reduce the negative impact of design on the environment, by improving building performance, reducing waste, and ensuring comfort for occupants.

The aim of the design is to achieve a balance between the ‘natural’ and ‘built’ parts of the house. It must provide a healthy atmosphere for all living organisms’ in space. The effects of the elements on each other must be explored.

Privacy and interaction must be guided in the layout as per the nature of the activity. Manage aesthetics and functionality, as well as open and closed spaces. The design must be an integrated system suitable to contemporary lifestyles.


Humans | Nature: The primary function should be to help humans connect more with nature.

Building | Nature: The building should look to reflect the essence of nature in its make, like form, materials, finishes, etc.

Sustainable: Sustainability in design and construction methods is an underlying objective of Biophilia itself.

Therapeutic: The building should look at the overall well-being and rejuvenation of its inhabitants.


Indonesia is a very populous island country with more than 270 million people. The economy often struggles owing to this which creates poor quality of life for many citizens. The rapid rate of urbanisation has created issues of high traffic, congestion, and resource scarcity. The land cover and greenery are decreased and dense neighbourhoods are craving for it.

The site is located in South Jakarta City, Indonesia. Jakarta is a capital city with a flourishing landscape and rich cultural background. The city is riddled with environmental issues like heavy pollution and is prone to flooding and earthquakes.

The site is opposite Mantanya Eye Clinic and is accessed by the Jl. Tebet Barat Dalam X road. It is sandwiched between two residences on each side and an empty plot on the front. The road in front of the plot is extremely narrow.

Site area = 264 sq.m
Height restriction = 9 metres
Maximum Builtup Area = 132 sq.m
Setbacks (as per CAD plan)
Coordinates: 6°14'31.9"S 106°50'57.5"E


The following programmatic outline is the point to begin your design at. You can add more functions and activities in relevance or modify the below design programme.

  • The residence can be built with a maximum of 2 floors. The footprint on the ground floor must be restricted to 40 sq.m and the rest can be attributed to the higher floors.
  • One master bedroom and 1-3 other guest bedrooms can be provided in the programme. The areas for the other spaces such as the living room, kitchen, and bathrooms can be designated by the participant.


Building level

Response to local climate: The climate of the city must be taken under consideration while designing.

Site landscaping: Greenery on-site in a dense setting.

Materials: Palette chosen as per the local context

Spatial level

Space layout: The programme is to design a residence for a single family.

Furniture and provisions: Their placement and design indicating the requisite usage of space provided.

Services: Dependence on mechanical systems must be minimized and justified.

Indoor greenery: Greenery incorporated in all facets.