How Does Nature Influence Architecture

Architecture and nature are two can have a powerful influence over one another. Architecture is the art of designing a built environment and it has been an integral part of our life since times immemorial. Nature has its own design and it is one that has been perfected over the years. The relationship between architecture and nature has been explored throughout history and has been adopted by many architects as a response to our growing environmental consciousness. Understanding how nature influences architecture can help us create healthier and more sustainable buildings.

The idea of integrating nature into our built environment has been explored for centuries, with many examples found in ancient and modern architecture. The legacy of ancient architectural civilizations is built on their deep understanding of nature. Ancient architectures from the Romans is an example of how one can blend building designs with the natural surroundings. They used natural resources such as stone and clay for their building materials, optimized sunlight for interior day-lighting, and used trees for the protection of their dwellings. On the other hand, modern architectural designs have used the idea of nature in a more abstract manner. Many famous architects have embraced the idea of embracing nature into their designs and have achieved considerable success as a result.

In modern times, architects have taken nature’s influence to new heights. Authority figures in this field are implementing creative solutions that take nature’s influence into account. In their designs, they focus on creating structures that are easily assimilated with their natural environment. Such structures are built keeping in mind both the environment and the people. A few architects have modeled their designs after the natural elements such as wind, water, sun, and rain. Such designs are known to produce a sense of harmony and make the surroundings sustainable. It is this idea of “sustainable architecture” that has made it so popular today.

Apart from taking advantages from nature’s elements, there are other ways to embrace nature’s influence when designing buildings. Creating spaces that promote biodiversity is another important idea that has been explored. This can be done by providing different kinds of habitats, such as organic gardens and green covered buildings. Such a design creates connectivity between buildings and the natural environment, creating a more vibrant urban landscape. Nature elements also offer a level of protection from extreme weather conditions and provide a more pleasant environment for occupants. Examples of this can be seen in such buildings as the Riverside Park Office and the Vancouver Convention Centre, which implemented large glass windows to take advantage of natural light.

In conclusion, nature has served as a powerful source of inspiration for architects since times immemorial. It provides the necessary guidance to create environmentally-friendly, sustainable, and functional structures. Architects have been able to use nature’s elements in many different ways and this has enabled them to create buildings that are harmonious with their surroundings. The influence of nature has been embraced by many famous architects through out history and it can be easily seen in many of today’s most popular buildings. Understanding how nature influences architecture can help us create healthier and more sustainable buildings.

Environmental Impact

Nature-influenced buildings have a significant positive impact on the environment. By taking nature’s resources into account when designing buildings, energy consumption can be reduced. This can be done in many ways, such as focusing on renewable energy sources and designing buildings to take advantage of natural light. By doing this, buildings can cut down on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced, significantly reducing environmental impacts.

Furthermore, incorporating plants into buildings helps to purify air, reduce noise pollution, regulate air temperature, and create a healthier environment for all. According to a study conducted by the University of Washington, buildings with more plants had significantly lower levels of air pollution and carbon dioxide than those without. This can help to reduce stress levels, promote better health, and create a more comfortable living environment.

The use of natural elements in architecture can also help to restore degraded ecosystems. Architects can incorporate methods such as green roofs and living walls into their design, which help to reduce stormwater runoff and create a stronger connection between buildings and their environment. The incorporation of these features can help to improve air quality, restore habitats, and even contribute to reducing global warming.

In addition, employing nature-inspired designs can help to create a more resilient building structure. For example, green roofs are known to be more resistant to extremes temperatures, wind, and heavy downpours. By designing structures that take environmental factors into account, architects can create buildings that are better able to withstand the effects of climate change.

Aesthetic Appeal

Incorporating nature into architecture can also have a great aesthetic appeal. The combination of natural materials and unique designs can create a beautiful and unique building that stands out. Natural elements such as wood, stone, and plants can help to create a building that is unique and captivating. Additionally, the use of glass and natural light can create a bright and airy environment.

Furthermore, nature-inspired designs can help to create a sense of calmness in a building. Plants, water features, and natural materials all create a peaceful atmosphere that is therapeutic and relaxing. Incorporating nature into buildings helps to connect the inside with the outside, providing occupants with a better understanding of their surroundings. The use of glass and open spaces helps to bring light and air into a building and create a more open and inviting atmosphere.

Nature-inspired designs are also able to create a sense of awe and amazement. By using natural materials and creating a beautiful landscape in and around a building, architects can evoke strong emotions from onlookers. Such buildings provide an opportunity for contemplation and reflection and help to create memories that are more lasting.

Overall, the incorporation of nature into architecture can help to create a unique, captivating, and pleasurable environment. Nature-inspired designs can provide a more exciting and immersive experience, while also providing a number of benefits such as improved air quality, reduced energy consumption, and a stronger connection with the environment.


In order to take advantage of nature’s influence in architecture, there are a few key steps that need to be taken. To begin with, architects need to assess the environment and determine which natural elements will have the biggest impact. This could include assessing the landscape, climate, and the existing flora and fauna. This can help to identify specific materials and techniques that could be used to best take advantage of nature’s potential.

It is also important to collaborate with local experts and inhabitants to better understand the environment. Developing a design plan that takes into account local customs and traditions can help to create a building that integrates seamlessly with its natural surroundings. Furthermore, it is also necessary to ensure that the materials used in the building are sustainable and responsible sourced.

It is important for architects to have a good understanding of the environment in which the building is being built. This includes understanding the local climate, soil conditions, and vegetation. Additionally, knowing the soil’s porosity, hydrology, and drainage capabilities can help to determine the best materials and design solutions to use in the building.

Addressing these factors is important to ensure the building is in harmony with its surroundings. This can be done through careful selection of materials, integration of green solutions, and implementation of design solutions that fit the environment. Ultimately, a successful building will not only reflect nature but also be actively engaging in its environment.


In conclusion, understanding how nature influences architecture can help to create healthier, more sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing buildings. Nature-inspired designs can provide a number of benefits such as improved air quality, reduced energy consumption, and a stronger connection with the environment. Taking steps such as assessing the local environment and collaborating with local experts can help to develop an effective design plan that best utilizes nature’s potential. By doing this, architects can create buildings that are harmonious with their natural surroundings.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

Leave a Comment