Story at a glance:
- Bloom & Wild worked with architects and engineers from thisisrender.com to reimagine world landmarks with biophilia.
- Biophilic design creates calming environments and has been proven to reduce feelings of anxiety and fatigue.
“One of the great challenges of our time is to bring the beneficial experience of nature into the design of contemporary buildings, landscapes, communities, and cities. Biophilia literally translates to mean ‘love of life,’ and it explains our innate attraction to the dynamic and beautiful natural world,” writes Stephen R. Kellert in Nature by Design: The practice of Biophilic Design.
Biophilic design is an architectural and interiors concept all about bringing the outdoors in and creating a healthy living environment, which is at the front of everyone’s mind right now. We all have a strong and important connection to nature. And whether we realize it or not, bringing nature into our homes, offices, and schools can bring many benefits to our overall health and well-being.
Biophilic design is proven to improve several aspects of life. Many studies state that incorporating nature into our decor and architecture can create calming environments that reduce feelings of tension, anxiety, frustration, and fatigue, which in turn gives better emotional and mental restoration.
With this in mind, Bloom & Wild wanted to see how the world’s most famous landmarks would look if they were biophilic designs. We asked five architects to help us reimagine seven iconic structures, using biophilic design that relates to the landscape of the country.
1. Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal, located in the city of Agra, was commissioned by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 as a tomb for his favorite wife. Now it’s the most visited tourist spot in India and a symbol of eternal love. We redesigned the iconic pillars in the style of India’s famous trail tree trunks. And sitting on top of the pillars are jungle geranium, or Ixora Coccinea as they are also known.
Delicate hanging plants also sit on the walls behind the front-facing arches and window frames. In place of the famous reflecting pool in front of the Taj Mahal, we created an extensive network of water bridges to reflect the importance of water in Indian cultures.
2. Tower Bridge
As one of London’s defining landmarks, Tower Bridge is steeped in history. Built between the years 1886 and 1894, it was designed to help ease traffic while allowing access to a big part of the River Thames. We redesigned the bridge with bushes covering the towers, which are closely tied with Britain’s historical association with grand manor houses and their perfectly kept gardens. Neatly encased in each crevice are flowers inspired by our own lovely flower bouquets that include freesias, snapdragons, lisianthus, and meadowy foliage.
The tops of the towers are covered in ivy, while the structure is supported by a network of ropes to signify the country’s connection to medieval history. We also placed several small mirrors on the underside of the bridge to connect the top sections of the towers. These mirrors have been placed to reflect London’s ever-growing skyline while allowing pedestrians to see a part of themselves in one of London’s most iconic structures.
3. Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty was a gift to America from the French to commemorate their alliance during the Revolution. The statue was unveiled in 1886 and continues to be a great inspiration to many as well as a huge tourist attraction.
In our redesign we covered the statue in moss so it changes with the seasons just as much as the great American countryside. We also included Sequoia and Birch trees, along with some grassy areas to represent both the Manhattan spring/fall seasons and to further connect the statue to America’s vast network of forests and famous national parks.
To add a touch of modernity to the statue, we added a walkway spiraling the base of the tower. The signature torch is also a fountain to signify a connection to America’s great lakes and surrounding coastline.
4. Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is one of the 20th century’s most famous and creative pieces of architecture. Used as a multi-venue performing arts center, the opera house was built in 1959 and opened to the public in 1973.
Drawing inspiration from Australia’s iconic landscapes, we transformed the opera house into a structure that represents the countryside. The classic shells have been redesigned to resemble Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, while the dome-like exteriors emanate from the coral found in the Great Barrier Reef. The shells are coated in traditional Australian plants and flowers, taking inspiration from native flora like eucalyptus and Banksia.
5. Eiffel Tower
As one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, the Eiffel Tower was built in 1887 just in time to be the centrepiece of the 1889 World’s Fair, which showed off France’s innovative and modern mechanical designs.
We kept the redesign simple but effective, as we lined the grounds with lavender—the traditional flower of the French countryside. On every level of the tower we placed shelves containing bunches upon bunches of France’s second most loved flower: sunflowers. We coated the staircases with lavender as well as the observation decks and the very top of the tower, producing a beautiful, purple floral statement.
6. Great Pyramid of Giza
This reimagined design is perhaps among the most shocking. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the World and the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza complex. It was built around 2560 BCE and remains mostly intact today. A tomb is a sacred space and tourists deserve to experience and enjoy the silence, peace, tranquillity, and nature that it has to offer both outside and inside the structure.
We reimagined the existing pyramid shape by covering it with lush greenery. The sand dune reflected in the wave structure at the base of the pyramid was inspired by architect’s Chad Oppenheim’s interpretation of the landscape.
Finally, we also rebuilt the most natural object of the land, the Sphinx. We restored the creature to its former glory and rebuilt the outer body and placed thousands of fine branches to give it an ostensibly furry finish.
7. Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia is a large Roman Catholic minor basilica in Barcelona and is the world’s oldest construction project. Although construction started on the Sagrada Familia in 1882, it was never completed, largely due to it being interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. Even after the war, construction was slow. Currently it is around 70% complete and is estimated to be finished in 2026.
We’ve redesigned the landmark in a biophilic way by creating a base layer of Mediterranean hanging plants like geraniums and durantas. We then lined the body of the church with diamond-shaped, colorful mirrors. These mirrors are decorated with shards of red, orange, and pink, resembling the native flowers of Spain—like Lantanas, Gazania, and Bougainvillea.
Water sprays from the tops of the spires, splitting the light rays in beautiful rainbows. The mirror flowers have also been placed in the ponds around the Sagrada Familia for more exotic beauty and color.