THE BIOPHILIC BATHROOM is a bathing system that reduces stress by connecting people with nature and water efficiency. Featuring rainwater collection and an attached greenhouse that harbors water-purifying organisms, this design suits the eco-conscious consumer through sustainability and aesthetics.
The bathroom/greenhouse combination collects, purifies, and reuses rainwater and greywater. This process is made visible to stimulate multiple senses, effectively relieving stress. Materials include rammed-earth walls, glass and aluminum panels, sealed cork flooring, and low-flow stainless steel fixtures.
This project draws from the idea of the living machine, where water is naturally purified through organisms, as explored in biologist John Todd's book Healing Earth.
PART OF A WHOLE: By making the provision of water visible, the user will be able to engage and be aware of the greater ecosystem. This design allows people to simultaneously connect with the earth through sustainable systems and nature-inspired structures; this is important in preserving precious resources as we combat climate change in the present and future.
CANOPY STRUCTURES: Guided by the principles of biophilic design, two large structures reside between the bathroom and greenhouse: one collects rainwater and greywater and guides them into a series of vessels filled with organisms that purify the water. The second structure shelters the plumbing that brings the clean water back into the bathroom. The structures also act as a skylight and windows to maximize sunlight.
NATURAL WATER PURIFICATION: Once rainwater or greywater is collected, the water percolates into the greenhouse vessels. Each vessel contains a different ecosystem (bacteria, plants, marine animals) that work together to remedy the unwanted contaminants. The cleaned water can then be pumped back up for the shower or bath. The application of this system within the bathroom of domestic households aims to normalize the reutilization of water.
COLLABORATION WITH OTHER LIVING ORGANISMS: The symbiosis of plant and human is activated by having the user hydrate the plants while bathing (water vapor + splashes)– the plants absorb toxins and freshen the air in return. The filtration by living organisms also shows this relationship.
MULTIFACETED BENEFITS: The blending of nature and the built environment in Biophilic Bathroom not only improves the stress levels of its occupants through aesthetics, but also through genuine sustainability of water systems.