The Biomimicry Center
Tempe, Ariz.
Award of Merit

Owner/Developer: The Biomimicry Center
Lead Design Firm: Architekton
General Contractor: Wespac Construction
MEP Engineer: Applied Engineering
Subcontractors: Premier Demolition; Castaldi Custom Co.; Architectural Component Services; Sierra Glass Co.; Aspen Construction; Nicomia; Sunset Acoustics; Aspen Interiors; L&H Mechanical; Tilmann Electric; Climatec; Interface; Columbia Forest Products; WalaLights

Located on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe, the Biomimicry Center is the hub for Biomimicry 3.8’s partnership with the university. Biomimicry 3.8 is a sister consultancy to the nonprofit Biomimicry Institute, which promotes emulating nature’s forms, processes and ecosystems to create more sustainable designs.

The project team was tasked with integrating as many biomimicry elements into the design as possible. The resulting 2,000-sq-ft remodel created an office space that consumes less energy and material, adapts to accommodate a wide variety of activities and uses life-friendly chemistry. The center’s design is highlighted by stacked wood artwork on a bright pink wall, windows lined with natural organisms and ample greenery.

Other biomimicry elements include office furniture that can be reconfigured according to need, a series of movable walls that provide storage, white boards for brainstorming, room dividers for meetings and shelves for living plants that purify the air and lend a natural aesthetic. To bring a part of the living world into interior office spaces, the design harvested leftover scraps of lichen from Scottsdale-based Plant Solutions and embedded them in the center’s existing concrete walls. Additionally, much of the equipment and materials were donated by companies that champion biomimetics, including Interface, Columbia Forest Products and WalaLights, which helped cut finishing costs in half.

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