Architecture for Wellness
What is architecture for wellness? Surely the building we sit in couldn’t have that much of an impact on our overall health, could it?
Well, it does indeed. At OSA, we are a passionate advocate for creating healthy homes for all New Zealanders. We support raising the (currently very inferior) building code standards alongside the Superhome movement and many other forward-thinking innovators in the industry. However, as we have explored in recent weeks, our wellness is not just our physical state but also our mental condition and how our surroundings play a part in evoking that Joie de Vivre that makes life really worth living each day.
Leaders to watch in this industry
Architects in Scandinavia are creating spaces with hygge as a core element of their design process. Hygge is a Danish word that embodies the concept of cosiness, comfortability, and the feeling of contentment. This became particularly important in Scandinavia as many homes are somewhat secluded, making the cold, dark winter months challenging to weather for some. Hence the importance of creating a space that breeds happiness. This concept has grown in popularity and has been implemented in many industries to enhance their settings and purely as an approach to life.
Many mindfulness resorts and wellness spas, such as the idyllic Scandinavian spas, focus on providing a connection with nature and creating a serene atmosphere along with inspiration drawn from traditional Latvian and Japanese design styles, with a 21st-century twist. These design approaches are not just for resorts and spas and are becoming increasingly popular for offices and individual homes.
Wellness architecture is closely linked to green architecture, also known as eco-architecture. Both of these design approaches focus heavily upon the impact of the inhabitants’ experience and well-being and the connection to honouring the natural world and its many benefits. This is evident in design styles such as biophilic design and japandi design.
Wellness architecture is a design sector that connects the art and science of creating environments with socially conscious systems and materials to promote a harmonious relationship between all aspect of one’s self; physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual. Whilst also considering how this affects the natural world and working with the natural world, rather than against it.
In essence, creating spaces for happier people.