Biodiversity & Well-being Centre
The proposed building is a manifesto that raises awareness of the ongoing issue of biodiversity loss: of both flora and fauna. It is based on two visions of the future: utopian (zero-carbon cities, nature takes over, increasing flora & fauna) and dystopian (virtual gardens, holograms, and extinct species). It further manifests that spending time surrounded by nature and animals can have a positive impact on our well-being. Therefore, by helping them grow, we help ourselves.
The building is divided into four main wings: a psychology department & open clinic, a restaurant & healthy cooking classes, an activity centre (i.e. for meditation, yoga, stretching), and a resort area, where visitors can check-in to enjoy the facilities longer. In order to break the barrier between the “inside” and “outside”, nature has been brought into the building, creating a main green atrium and introducing an indoor courtyard in each wing: full of greenery, possible animal encounters, either real or virtual. As a result, views of nature are visible from every point of the building and visitors have a feeling of being outside, while inside, and they can enjoy nature even in winter.
The outdoor design responds to the programme happening inside and acts as a whole, connected through a biophilic, voronoi facade and structural timber frame. Leaving the building onto one of the six rooftop gardens is a chance to participate in the “Forest Walk” experience: a series of elevated pathways creating an unforgettable opportunity to observe real and un-real flora & fauna from above.
Considering a larger scale, one of the most important aims of the project, was to open up the area to the community and create a safe space where everyone can come when feeling down. This has been resolved through an inclusive scheme with a broad range of activities during day and night, and increasing safety in the area. To reach the utopian future, a long-term scheme of biodiversity pathway was created, which aims to create green connections between different locations in the city.