Indonesia’s Biophilic Office: A Step Towards Employee Welfare
Architect Andy Rahman designs his Biophilic Office in Sidoarjo, Indonesia, with natural elements. He considers the mental welfare of his team and creates a biophilic work environment to reduce the stress levels that are very much present in an architectural firm. Courtyard, open spaces, and rooftop lounge area build a positive and pleasant setting that includes nature in the spaces, both directly and indirectly.
One biophilic element in the new office is the green garden located on the ground level’s inner courtyard. The high ceiling open studio merges with the garden of different plant classifications, from grasses to hardwood trees. The greenery also helps lower the temperature in the open area. The courtyard includes a Koi fish pond that emits natural bubbling sounds for a more organic environment complete with an auditory biophilic element. This floor area has woven brick walls, wood, and black steel accents.
Moreover, the “breathing wall” on the second floor’s design demonstrates another biophilic element in the structure. The woven bamboo attached to the folding door panels allows air and light to flow across the space naturally. The ceiling has alternating plates with the same material as well. The interpretation of the design pays homage to Nusantara weaving, a local tradition in Indonesia. Black steel and wood accents continue in this space, in addition to modified blocks of concrete along adjacent wall. This communal space on the second level is open to hosting third-party events, like conferences and workshops.
Lastly, Andy Rahman provides a place for his employees to decompress on the building’s rooftop. The consideration put into the welfare of his employees by including biophilic design in the new office shows how nature in the space and natural analogues, visual and auditory biophilic elements can elevate productivity in the work environment.
Research proves that the incorporation of biophilic design in workplaces increases employee performance. According to the study Biophilic Office Design: Exploring The Impact Of A Multisensory Approach On Human Well-being published in October 2021 by the Journal of Environmental Psychology, the participants’ mental functioning improved in all biophilic conditions. The study testifies that “sounds that are reminiscent of nature as well as visuals that incorporate indoor plants and projections of greenery, have a positive impact on executive functioning – specifically response inhibition and working memory.” The research recommends the inclusion of multisensory biophilic features in work environments.
Photo credits: Mansyur Hasan