Biomimicry & Design: Brazilian Architecture Inspired by Rainforest

February 27, 2017
Posted in Architecture

The word “biomimicry” is derived from two Greek terms: “bios” – life and “mimesis” — mimicry. This is the sphere of design, which implies the use of natural mechanisms for creating innovative approaches in human life spheres, such as transport, city infrastructure and architecture. This post is dedicated to a concept store “Firma Casa” located in the Brazilian city of Sao Paolo. This shop is one of the best examples of biomimicry as it’s organized on the principle of a tropical forest.


Firma Casa illustrates the top trend of vertical gardening, which can really change the situation with Brazilian favelas. Mosaic, inclined and dirty buildings can be covered with undemanding plantings that do not require any special care. Wrapping around the walls and becoming living jungles, they will disguise the poor buildings and protect their inhabitants from direct sunlight.

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The bad parts of big cities are an ideal platform for 3D farms. Genuine nature doesn’t deal with mass production and doesn’t deliver any materials: all the necessary things are “manufactured” locally. Rainforests are a classical example of this strategy: plants, fruits and animals co-exist within a single photosynthetic area. Vertical growing of products and their local processing on-site is a sophisticated and inexpensive solution of such problems as overpopulation and unemployment in poor living quarters.


Meanwhile, coming closer to favelas, Brazilian architects and landscape designers are experimenting on the walls of “successful” neighborhoods. For instance, on this building over 9,000 seeds of African origin were planted in 3,500 conical vases.


Beside the building we see one more rainforest-inspired technology:  the yard of the shop is coated with Elastopave covering. It absorbs rain water, softly protects the roots of trees and plants from mechanical affects and creates a favorable environment for their growth – just like genuine moss, fallen leaves and broken tree branches do in a real forest. And it goes without saying that Elastopave is heated far less than asphalt, which promises it a great future in the hottest megalopolis of the world.


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