The Biomimetic Office Building is considered to be the first office building that has ever been thoughtfully designed using biomimicry. Designing a building that goes beyond conventional approaches requires new ways of working. To encourage limitless ideas and working approaches, the concept of this building was carried on at first without major constraints, for example, there was no specific site and it was a very open approach to capital cost management and long-term value. Some of the best design consultants in Europe and crucially involved a world-renowned professor of biomimetics were appointed to the design of this project.
On of the more important principles that the building incorporates in its design is the use of daylight the primary driver of the building form. The team found inspiration from:
- the Spookfish that has an amazing mirror structure from his eyes which point downwards and focus low-level bioluminescence into his retina,
- the brittlestar -a star that leaves as much as 500 m below the ocean and to protect itself against predators, it is covered in optically perfect lenses that focus light into receptors in order to detect predators before they see it,
- the cuttlefish bone, which efficiently places material to create a very rigid structure with very thin walls at the top and the bottom,
- termites, that have already design a passive cooling in their habitat and,
- beetle wings and mimosa leaves, that provide a shading system letting in the right amount of light
Other inspirations were taken from: bird skulls, sea urchins and giant amazon water lilies for the structure; penguin feathers and polar bear fur for the environmental control; and hornbeam leaves for the solar shading. It was predicted that when built it will be one of the lowest energy office buildings in the world.
We should never start with reality. Always start by identifying the idea and compromise as little.