In design, there is no richer source of inspiration than nature. Yet, finding inspiration from nature is much more than just copying its colors as nature can also help buildings to work.
This is called biomimicry, a concept that property developer Italpinas Euroasian Design and Eco-Development Corp. (ITPI) is espousing in its buildings. ITPI is an Italian-Filipino company known for an advocacy on sustainable architecture and development around the country. Its first property in Cagayan de Oro called Primavera Residences garnered a Five Star Award for Best Mixed-Use Development in the Philippines at the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2014-2015.
[caption id="attachment_158335" align="aligncenter" width="576"] Primavera Residences[/caption]
Biomimicry, explained architect Romolo V. Nati, chairman and CEO of ITPI, is a concept that has been around for centuries. ITPI would like to reintroduce this concept to the public through its projects.
“Up to a certain point in history, consumption of natural resources and human development were in balance. Societies were in balance with the environment. Now the balance is broken because of a cultural misconception that resources are infinite and we have total control over nature. This wrong way of thinking produced cities as they are now—extremely polluted, congested and not sustainable,” Nati explained.
“If we want to change, we have to change our thinking first and our cities will change with it,” he added.
[caption id="attachment_158334" align="aligncenter" width="576"] Coral City[/caption]
He said that typical construction practices among property developers is to copy models around the world. But, this is wrong because something that works elsewhere may not work as well here.
For Primavera Residences, for instance, ITPI took inspiration from an anthill. One of its most prominent passive green features, the central column in the middle of every building, takes its cue from the hollow opening to the ant colony used for transporting materials and for ventilation.
“The central column has several purposes. First, it allows natural light into the building, diminishing the need for artificial lighting. Second, it creates a funnel effect that allows air inside the building and distributes it to cross-facing units,” said Nati.
Another architectural concept based on biomimicry designed by ITPI is Coral City. Taking inspiration from coral, the 30,000-sqm green complex features individual, interconnected buildings in ring-like shapes that can withstand earthquakes, typhoons and floods.
This inspiration from nature has many benefits. One of them is a huge savings on construction costs.