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BEAUTY

About The Petal

The intent of the Beauty Petal is to recognize the need for beauty and the connection to nature as a precursor to caring enough to preserve, conserve, and serve the greater good. As a society, we are often surrounded by ugly and inhumane physical environments. The key to creating beautiful buildings is to embrace a biophilic design process that emphasizes that people and nature are connected and the connection to place, climate, culture and community is crucial to creating a beautiful building.

Biophilia

For us the meaning of Biophilia is a human desire to experience and to interact with other forms of life and the elements of nature. 

What we wanted most was a design that softens the boundaries between internal and external spaces. One reason why we purchased our house is that it has a south-facing orientation. The communal areas - living room and dining room - are oriented in the southern part of the house, with high ceilings and large windows that will be converted to sliding glass doors. In these living spaces a person can experience the path of the sun from sunrise to sunset.

A deck will wrap around three sides of the house (becoming a veranda in the north), with each room of the lower floor having its own access to it. South of the house the deck connects us to three mature walnut trees situated along the house. We are adding additional trees, flowering and berry-producing shrubs and bird nesting boxes to the area, which will attract and nourish various bird species.

We would love to bring in natural patterns into our design through the use of bamboo. We are exploring to use it for building shutters and the roof over the south terrace. The shape of the sticks and the shades that it can cast through the windows create a wonderful pattern. We don't know yet if the idea is feasible. Bamboo won't last long without treating it with toxic substances. But we are excited to learn about ways how to maintain it using natural treatments.

Currently our kitchen is located in the middle of the house. We have to switch on the lights during any time of the day since the space is too far away from windows. Being in the kitchen which is currently the ugliest space in the house feels disconnected from nature. We decided to relocate the kitchen further north and create counters right underneath the windows. The existing octagonal tower, will be squared off. The new location offers plenty of daylight and views to enjoy the land and the horses in the pasture.

Education

We are required to provide a Living Building Challenge Case Study and this website that you are reading right now will be the basis for it. We will also offer an annual open day for the public once our project is completed.

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