Biophilia connects us to place and landscape.
We also know that place and landscape are both cornerstones of our Indigenous Australian culture. It raises an important question as to whether biophilic design can meaningfully connect the built environment to the world’s oldest living culture.
Bunji Place, designed by fjmt Architects, is a community and arts building located in Narre Warren in suburban Melbourne. It explores this question specifically, through the use of many biophilic principles as well as the project's naming after Bunjil the Creator.
The architects used a grand woven timber structure, with a sense of flow and movement, as the entry to the building. A generous gesture, enhancing light and a feeling of connectedness to the outside. The natural materiality and its formal reference to a wedge-tailed eagle have a direct relationship with the natural world and our indigenous history.
Do you think that biophilia is a tool we can use in design to better tell the stories of our Indigenous history?