OHD designed a Biophilic Hotel room as a show space that focused on creating mindful moments and recuperating guests. Every decision that we made had occupant wellbeing in mind; guests should feel relaxed in the evenings after the day gone by, and energised in the morning for the day ahead. This thinking guided our choices of products, textures, materials and the overall design.
The design incorporated Biophilic features throughout including the overall design and layout of the space, the materiality of the bed, connections to real and artificial light, views out, sensory contrasts, planting, material and colour schemes.
Within the space, there are some key materials that created a sense of warmth and relaxation
The Use of Timber
The walls were clad in shou sugi ban timber that was scorched and wire brushed to enhance the natural grain. This brings out the rich patterns and textures of the wood that immediately evokes a nature connection. The bed was also made from the same timber; research shows that sleeping on a timber bed can reduce heart rates, making for a more restful night's sleep.
We introduced biomimetic nature-inspired Interface carpet tiles to create different zones within the space. This featured a grassy area under bed, which feels welcoming and invites guests to lay and rest. Other areas of carpeting were reflective of naturalised pebbled surfaces, to keep a natural feel to the whole space.
To create a mindful moment, we highlighted the textural contrast as guests move from carpet and onto stone bathroom tiles. This sense of change underfoot from a warm, soft surface to a hard, cool surface keeps guests in the present moment by stimulating a noticeable sensation.
We made water a central feature of the space by installing a free-standing bath. This adds the sensory inputs of both visual and auditory aspects of running water, which have a calming effect on guests, as suggested by Blue Space Theory. The green wall beyond the bath further reduces stress and aids recuperation, creating a very immersive and tactile natural experience. Planting has the added bonus of improving air quality by removing toxins and CO2 from the air, and releasing oxygen at night, as well as regulating overall moisture and humidity levels.
The Window seat
One of our favourite design features has always got to be a window sweat. This creates an opportunity for guests to sit and gaze out onto nature (in this case, the view was an artificial meadow due to the project being an installation). Views out onto nature can have a restorative effect by allowing a period of ‘effortless attention’ as we gaze at soft, natural movement in the distance (also known as non-rhythmic sensory stimuli).
A separate bathroom space offers guests privacy. The inclusion of a range of natural materials bring in tactile and visual sensory stimulation.
Planting was introduced at different heights and scales to mimic the diversity in natural environments.
We used a circadian lighting system in this space which aims to keep guests’ circadian rhythms in check, allowing them to get to sleep easily and wake up alert and ready to start the day.
Having a balanced circadian rhythm has numerous health benefits. Circadian lighting mimics the natural light pattern of the sun throughout the day; at midday, the light is bright and stimulating; towards the evening, this shifts from a soft yellow to a deep orange, as it slowly removes the energising blue spectrum of light.
A Pop of Colour
And last but not least, we added a bright pop of yellow through a very inviting sofa to welcome guests and add a sense of warmth and joy as you enter the space.
Pops of colour stimulate the senses and create a focal point, with yellow being associated with the sun or flowers in a field.
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