Tid for Hjem – A Biophilic basement
Designed by Oliver Heath
Biophilic design principles can instantly lift a space and therefore have positive effects on the user’s mood and well-being. Optimising light levels, adding natural patterns / textures and colours can strengthen the innate connection we have with nature. This project demonstrates that these ideas are accessible to the most humble of spaces.
Before, the dingy, unused basement lacked natural light and a connection with nature. By incorporating a new window plus bright white, reflective surfaces, the main living space instantly feels more inviting; creating a relaxing environment to allow the users to focus and be creative. Elements of the Norwegian exterior environment have been incorporated within the interior by using forest themed graphic wallpaper, local plants and natural textures. The space is now tidy and organised thanks to the storage unit, which fills the back wall. Plants have been incorporated into the space at a variety of levels (using glass terrariums and on shelving) so that direct forms of greenery are always in the periphery vision – aiding micro recuperation from stressful tasks.
Colours typical of those found in healthy savannahs also add vitality and interest – accents of bright yellow immediately lift the space – making it a fun and exciting environment for both adults and children. The main work space is sub-divided using a vertical slatted wooden screen, with added greenery, creating a more secluded area for the father’s study space. The children now have a space to draw and be creative whilst being subtly supervised. The exterior landscape and greenery is also always in the father’s sight line, maximising the location’s recuperative benefits.
The space to the rear, lacked windows and natural light. However, as a result, it makes for a perfect retreat space and somewhere the family can sit back and relax outside of the circulation of the main space. Dimmable artificial lighting has been integrated within the timber panel walls and ceiling to create an ambient and relaxing space. Shades of blues, greens and yellows strengthen the user’s connection with nature, resulting in a more calming environment for the family to retreat to and unwind after a long day.
Special thanks to TV2’s ‘Tid for Hjem’ (Time for Home)