Tanglewood’s Biophilic Design Aspiration

Through beautiful and integrated architecture, engineering, and interior design, Tanglewood endeavours to ensure everyone in or near-by, experiences physical and spiritual connections to earth, air, water and fire.


Two metaphors resonate: The Paua for its hardy outer coat, and beauty within.  The Rata for transforming one tree into another.



6 Biophilic Design Elements  Steven Kellert, Edward Owen: The Biophilia Hypothesis, 1995 

Environmental Features 

Light and Space

Natural Shapes and Forms 




Place-Based Relationships

Natural Patterns and Processes

Evolved Human-Nature Relationships

 *all website photos taken by Jon and Yoshimi Brett

Biophlia Workshop: 12 November 2016 @ Tanglewood

6 neighbours (10am - 12:30pm); 12 Project Team members (full-day plus drinks of course:)


*Tanglewood LBC Project as a Metaphor of nature: nuture insight into the significance of biophilia in community.
*TetraMap: Learning about self others. Share participant perspectives to embed deeper understanding of our connection to nature and to gain deeper insight and engagement into LBC.
*Tanglewood's Biophilic Nature in the community
*Afternoon: Design Biophilic Framework and implementation

Notes from BEAUTY Handbook to guide our thinking and outputs:

 The exploration must result in a biophilic framework and plan for the project that outlines the following:
• How the project will be transformed by deliberately incorporating nature through Environmental Features, Light and Space, and Natural Shapes and Forms
• How the project will be transformed by deliberately incorporating nature’s patterns through Natural Patterns and Processes and Evolved Human-Nature Relationships
• How the project will be uniquely connected to the place, climate and culture through Place-Based Relationships
• The provision of sufficient and frequent human-nature interactions in both the interior and exterior of the project to connect the majority of occupants with nature directly
The plan must contain methods for tracking biophilia at each design phase. The plan should include cultural, ecological and climatic studies that thoroughly examine the site and context for the project.
DEFINITION: Biophilia The innate, genetically determined affiliation of human beings to nature and other living organisms.



MORNING SESSION: 6 Neighbours, 12 Project Team members

Who's here?  Why are we here?

What's LBC (Living-Building Challenge)

What's biophilia? How is my contribution important?


Have a seat...take a deep breath...relax, listen...How do you feel?
Remember that feeling...it'll help you understand what biophilia is and the essence of living-buildings.

 Learning about Self, each other and contributing to Tanglwood's biophilic design.

Grounding model: TetraMap

Afternoon Session with the Project Team:

*What we learned from the morning about self and this team

*More about TetraMap and how it will serve us as our Biophilic Framework

*Sharing/synergising expertise and creativity to enrich Tanglewood's biophilic design opportunities. 

 Trish, team LBC Consultant guides us and keeps us 'thinking biophilic-ly'.

Note Guide Sophia at back of room behind Alan, our builder.  

Guide Sophia was a Maori elder and a leader during the time of great destruction of the famous Pink and White Terraces, Mt. Tawarewa, Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand. http://www.buriedvillage.co.nz/guide-sophia-hinerangi  Her great-grandaughter, Karen Walmsley is our dear friend who graciously allowed us the privilege of Sophia's spirit and company during our design phase.


  Examples of the process...the journey becomes more exciting and tangible day by day. Sustainability depends upon integrity of structure and vision.


Big picture, the TetraMaps above all fold up to create the TETRAHEDRON, ..."the minimum structural system in Universe", Buckminster Fuller. 
All sides of a tetrahedron are equal, there are no opposities, each side (Element) works inter-dependently with the other to create synergy.

Our Tanglewood Project is like a tetrahedron with each Element reflecting values that will help restore humanity and the planet.  We strive to always BE:

Ecologically Restorative - Socially Just - Culturally Rich - Inspiringly Creative


And the result of the workshop - our Biophilic Charter and Action Plan.

Next: March Update