Creating a Connection to Nature

The Trends International Design Award for architects in New Zealand and Australia has selected a stunning holiday home as its 2018 New Home of the Year. This home provides a powerful testament to the natural beauty and transformative nature of real wood flooring.

The design by New Zealand architect Gary Todd follows “biophilic design principles” which make the home appear to be organically part of its surrounding environment. Material selection was a crucial consideration in the home’s design, especially the wooden floors featured in all four levels of the residence.

Real Wood and Biophilic Design Philosophy

Proponents of biophilic design strive to create visual and physical connections with nature by incorporating open space, large areas of glass, water features, and materials that mimic natural shapes and forms. The end goal is architecture that integrates into its natural surroundings.

Wood flooring is an ideal component of biophilic design due to the belief that humans can instinctually differentiate between real and synthetic materials. As such, minimally processed materials are preferred for biophilic design whenever possible.

Floor Focus

The four levels of this award-winning home were carefully terraced so that the structure appears to emerge from the rock itself. With so much effort put into this natural design, it was imperative
that the floors themselves also provided an immediate visual and physical connection to nature.

To accomplish this, architect Gary Todd and his design team installed 4,300 square feet (400 square meters) of extra-wide oak boards featuring a deep, brushed surface texture. The grey natural oil finish of HARO wood flooring was explicitly selected to blend with the shades of the rocks visible outside of the home’s glass walls, which make up more than 65 percent of the house. The result is that the natural environment outside appears to merge with the flooring through the glass walls of the house.

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