These biomimetic designs reflect the natural world.
BIOCHEMISTRY Relating to or denoting synthetic methods that mimic biochemical processes.
XIAOYANG LIU, GETTY IMAGES
Designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron for the 2008 Olympic Games, the locals nicknamed this stadium the “Bird’s Nest” before it was even completed. The bowl-shaped interior, roof, and staircases are integrated into the structure’s spatial grid-like formation, fashioned by overlapping steel trusses. The spaces between them are filled with a translucent membrane, just as birds stuff the empty spaces in their nests with materials. The stadium accommodates concerts and other special events, and will once again host the winter Olympics in 2022.
According to Bahá'í scripture, all the religion’s houses of worship must include a nine-sided circular shape. All the others have achieved this with a dome, but this temple in the village of Bahapur in New Delhi looks quite different. Inspired by the shape of the lotus flower, architect Fariborz Sahba conceived of 27 freestanding marble "petals" arranged in groups of three to form nine sides. These materials come from Penteli mountain in Greece, the same source for the Parthenon in Athens. The temple’s nine doors officially opened to the public in 1986, and the central hall can accommodate up to 2,500 worshippers.
YANN ARTHUS-BERTRAND, GETTY IMAGES
Originally constructed for the 1958 World’s Fair, or Expo 58, this quirky building features nine interconnected spheres measuring 335-feet high. Engineer Andre Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak modeled it after an iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times to represent faith in scientific progress. Today the interior is home to a museum and several temporary exhibits. Although it’s located in the northern Heysel neighborhood outside of the center, its shiny, stainless steel exterior remains visible from several different viewing points around the Belgian capital.
TUUL & BRUNO MORANDI, GETTY IMAGES
An international team, assembled from Architects 61 in Singapore and Australia-based Cox Architecture and Arup, designed this footbridge stretching over Marina Bay, linking the famous hotel and shopping center with the ArtScience Museum and Gardens by the Bay. The inspiration comes from the double helix structure of a DNA molecule—tubular, stainless-steel struts connect the two different spirals to the bridge’s deck. Opened in 2010, the 919-foot long curved structure has five viewing platforms, giving pedestrians spectacular views of the skyline from across the waterfront.
While Antoni Gaudi was motivated by his faith, nature inspired the design of this unfinished Roman Catholic church, which depicts the relationship between humanity, nature, and religion. Although the famous modernist architect took over the project in 1883, the central nave wasn’t completed until 2000. It’s modeled after tree trunks and their branching canopies, which support the 150-foot tall vault. Those who enter feel as though they’re walking into an enormous forest—just as Gaudi intended.
This circular skyscraper has glittered against the seafront desert landscape of Abu Dhabi since 2010. In tribute to the city’s maritime heritage, Marwan Zgheib and his Lebanon-based firm MZ Architects were inspired by the clam shell. They developed a diagrid (a diamond-shaped framework of diagonally intersecting steel ribs) to create the building’s striking curved glass skin. Standing at 360 feet (23 stories tall) on an elevated peninsula, the building boasts both city and waterfront views.
Standing at 1,671 feet tall, this 101-story skyscraper was the tallest building in the world when it opened in Taipei's modern Xinyi District in 2004. Renowned architect C.Y. Lee modeled it after a bamboo stalk, and its repetitive sections are full of symbolism. There are a total of eight segments comprised of eight floors each—a lucky number in Chinese culture. They mimic both the segments of the plant as well as Asian pagodas, while tinted green glass walls add the finishing touch.
30 ST MARY AXE: LONDON
DAVID BANK, GETTY IMAGES
Re the candy you/your kids get/give away trick or treating tonight: When it comes to candy bars, the term fun-sized is misleading. There is nothing fun about your candy bar not being the size of a regular bar. You should call them what they are... “Disappointment-sized.”----fishducky