Biotecture is defined as architecture using organic materials (e.g. plants, minerals, organisms) for architecture purpose. A growing awareness of the importance of the natural environment had led to the recognition that even a man-made environment could never be a wholly man-controlled environment, because it could not disconnect itself totally from the natural world around it.

Concern over pollution and depletion of natural resources led to a greater appreciation of nature expressed in “Natural Wood Walls, Bamboo Furniture, Greenhouses, and Indoor Gardens.” A Biostructure grown by Architect R. De March on his “House Farm” near Stuttgart, Germany, consists of living Hazel trees bent into arched shapes as frameworks over which dense foliage plants have been trained to form protective walls.

Biotecture begins from the standpoint that nature itself is the ideal architectural construct. Man-made structures and garden are not to be taken as new creations starting from nothing but rather as rearrangement of elements present, which are a small part of total structure.

Biotecture seeks to take advantage of the workings of nature to produce the desired conditions without unwarranted side effects, instead of expending great quantities of energy and material resource to create and maintain an artificial environment.

The goal of biological architecture is to produce a human habitat compatible with the habitats of the other life forms on this planet, and wholly integrated into the natural cycles of water and air circulation, using clean energy and reusable materials, and capable of changing in response to changing conditions.

Two Approaches used by Biological Architects:
  • Biomorphic – uses nature as a model and design buildings that apply the structural principles and decorative motifs found in nature. 
  • Biostructural – nature does the actual construction work and make direct use of natural system for architectural purposes.
In essence the first concept makes use of nature as designer while the second takes nature as builder.

Principle of Biostructure 
  • Natural processes should be employed to create structure according to human specifications. 
  • Genetically altered plants that would grow into buildings and building components. 
  • Crystalline materials that would be chemically treated to grow into pre-programmed shapes. 
  • Building with materials available on site and on the immediate locality as many species of animals do.
Animals such as:
  • Shellfish, corals build elaborate houses for themselves by extracting minerals naturally present in water. 
  • Spiders construct elaborate webs of great strength and flexibility byextruding a quick-hardening organic fluid from their bodies and can recycle an old web by absorbing the threads back into their bodies again. 
  • Certain termite colonies fashion natural systems for maintaining constant humidity, temperature, control, and deep-well water supplies sufficient to maintain indefinitely a population of over 2.000.000 insects; the source of power is the sun, building materials are those found in the area.
Hilbertz looks at ways to take architecture responsive to changes in its environment, as well as changing needs of its inhabitants. His goal is to achieve a complete symbiosis between man-made and natural environments. In building environments that grow he envisions building with light, like in the use of laser beams to generate 3-dimensional holographic images, through the guidance of computers or in making autotrophic structures which are self-generating or self-building life the chambered nautilus.
The Green Machine
Biological Architecture” advocates the incorporation of living plants and animals into architecture, designing buildings that will realty like living things to changing environmental conditions. The Green Machine is a comprehensive urban megastructure proposed be Glen Small from Los Angeles it is capable of restoring the environment of the entire Los Angeles Basin. It can support a population density high as 250,000 people per square mile on a biotecture concept.
The Green Machine
The Green Machine combines high technology and ecologically sensitive design in a multi-story urban housing structure. It also incorporates both active and passive solar heating, with parabolic disc solar collectors for power generation and hot water. It conserves water by collecting rain-water and recycling waste water for sub-surface irrigation. It has built in greenhouses which will permit recycling of garbage and produce food for residents. It accommodates modular homes, travel trailers, artist’s studios. It has a housing project for low-income families and individuals.
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