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Using Nature in Architectural Design

The very first building materials were from nature, from trees to sod and grass. Thus, nature has always had an intricate hand in architectural design. As building technology progressed, nature in architectural design began to be inconspicuous. However, with the urge to conserve natural resources, nature has once again taken a prominent position in architectural design.


Neenan Archistruction®  is a Fort Collins-based architectural design and build firm that specializes in commercial, education, healthcare, or government buildings. We pride ourselves on ensuring our clients are 100% satisfied with their building design and construction. Our top-rated commercial design company does this with our Collaborative Design Process, a process we’ve developed to work with our clients intimately throughout the entire design and build process. Below, we’ll take a look at using nature in architectural design. Contact us today!

Using the Principles of Biomimetic Architecture

Biomimetic architecture is a type or architecture that is inspired by the structures and processes of nature. It tries to mimic nature’s plants, animals, and structure in building design. Architects try to mimic animals’ mechanisms that they want to adapt to their building, including using technology to do so. The result is truly amazing designs.

Using the Principles of Biomorphic Architecture

Biomorphic architecture is a type of architecture that tries to mimic the forms of nature. From the spirals of seashells to the shape of leaves, rocks, and birds, you’ll find the trend of incorporating animal shapes and sizes in architecture continuing to grow.

Open Spaces and Landscape Design

The trend to bring nature indoors is not a new one. The Romans perfected the art of an open courtyard with a pool of water and/or a fountain and trees and plants. Plus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon that consisted of tiered gardens with a dizzying array of flora to behold. Today, this trend is definitely back with many architects incorporating open arbors and even crafting their new building around an existing tree!

Using Natural Materials in the Construction Process

In ancient times, all that was available for building supplies was what was found in nature. However, as the Industrial Age surged forth, metals began to replace these materials. Now, the trend is reversing, with architects incorporating natural materials, such as bamboo, clay, and stone in ways that evoke thoughts of nature. Natural colors are also a major design trend with regards to interior design.

Simple, Minimalistic Designs

The Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which is the thought of living simply in nature alone while accepting the natural cycle of life and death, has inspired many architects to use simple lines and forms and less materials with an eye towards sustainability.

Having Views of Nature

Studies have shown that when we are in nature or see nature, our cortisol levels (a stress hormone) in our bodies decrease, and we feel relaxed and peaceful. Architectural design tries to position windows for views of the trees, flowers, the ocean, and the mountains, as well as maximize natural light streaming in, which improves our mood and spirits, too. You’ll find a trend to bring nature indoors with more areas for plant life.

Building Sustainability

The push to conserve source materials and use as few resources as possible has entered the world of architectural design and construction. Now, many design/build firms, such as Neenan Archistruction® , will incorporate solar panels, rain-water harvesting systems, sewage treatment systems, and natural ways to heat and cool buildings. This helps to reduce the impact on the environment, too.


Our commercial design and construction company has been an innovator in the construction industry for more than 40 years. We keep abreast of the latest in design and construction techniques, including incorporating elements of nature into our designs, in order to deliver the most functional, aesthetic, and environmentally friendly building designs for our customers. We work closely with our clients through our Collaborative Design Process in order to ensure their needs are met and that they are 100% satisfied with the final outcome. We can help you wherever you are in the design/build process, whether you have only a glimmer or an idea or you are in the final stages of a construction project. Our friendly staff can help you find funding, with zoning regulations, existing building assessments, and so much more.  Trust our team to deliver on our promise of building you a building for the next century.

To get started, reach out to our team today!