Biomimetic architecture is more present in our day to day than we think. Outside Barcelona and Catalonia, there are large monuments and famous buildings erected using bio-inspired principles. These are some examples.
1. Barcelona and Gaudí.
Gaudí is the biomimetic master par excellence. They collected many of his phrases in which he claimed that the architects had to look in nature to find modernity. «The architecture of the future will be based on the imitation of nature because it is the most rational, lasting and economic form of all methods», he said, referring to the Sagrada Família, one of the clear examples of this type of architecture.
Beyond the Cathedral, there are many Gaudí buildings that use biomimetic principles. In Barcelona, we find La Pedrera or Casa Batlló, and outside the city the Cripta Güell (Colonia Güell) or the Celler Güell (Garraf).
2. Paris, Eiffel Tower.
The emblematic Parisian monument is also biomimetic inspiration. Built in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel, the engineer emulated the vagabonds of the human femur to erect this structure. Imanol Oquiñena, an environmental researcher, explains it in the blog biomimetiks:
«The human femur has a head that is inserted into the hip bone. This piece is located outside the central axis of the rest of the femur and is joined to the rest of the femur by a curved area known as the neck of the femur. The manner in which the trabeculae are distributed in this area served as inspiration for Eiffel when it came to designing the emblematic tower of the French capital in 1889. And although it was initially designed as a temporary structure, it has already stood 123 years […] After all these years, the Tower presents an unbreakable structure. In addition, this solution allows it to withstand the stresses to which the Parisian wind puts it (its upper end moves only 6-7 cm in the presence of wind)».
3. Gherkin Tower of London.
The famous 30 St Mary Ax tower in London, also known as the Gherkin Tower interior air channels. Thus, during summer, the heat forms inside the building escapes and the temperature doesn’t rise, preventing an abusive use of air conditioners that would consume a lot of energy. At the same time, during winter, this original ventilation system distributes the heating throughout the building more easily, so there is no need to spend excessively on heating up the tower.
According to Gherkin Tower official figures, thanks to this structure the building saves 50% more energy than other office towers of similar dimensions. Norman Foster, the architect, states that “nature regulates and controls the temperature of the building.”