UPDATE: The 2023 winners of the 2023 Stephen R. Kellert Biophilic Design Award have been announced! They are the Marion Fire Station in Marion, Iowa and the De Verwondering school in the Netherlands. Watch the award announcement here.

De Verwondering

Primary School Facility | Almere, Netherlands

As the first of a new generation of biophilic school buildings in the Netherlands, the team had a clear aim of reconnecting the school’s pupils with nature. Nature wasn’t simply the theme for visual design, it was the core principle behind the design: the school is nature.

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Marion Fire Station

Civic Facility | Marion, Iowa, USA

The design of this project responded to a challenge from the fire chief to design a station that would be a national benchmark for how biophilic design can reduce PTSD in firefighters. The team implemented a range of biophilic design strategies to support firefighters’ physical and mental health. 

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2023 Finalists

Eleven projects have been selected as finalists for the 2023 Stephen R. Kellert Biophilic Design Award. Since 2017, the award has recognized achievements in the built environment—including buildings, interiors, and communities—that demonstrate the principles and benefits of biophilic design.

The 2023 award recipient(s) will be announced at the Living Future 2023 Conference May 3-5, 2023 in Washington DC. Want to be there when the winner is announced? Register for LF23 today!

Beirut’s RiverLESS Forest

Community Project | Beirut, Lebanon

Recognizing that we too are part of nature, the aim of Beirut’s RiverLESS Forest is to restore a native ecosystem, designed as a new form of habitat that counters the idea that ‘city’ and ‘nature’ are mutually exclusive.

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Darling Home for Kids

Children’s Hospice Facility | Milton, Ontario, Canada

Believing in EO Wilson’s concept of biophilia as human’s innate need to connect with the natural world, the team saw this site as a unique opportunity for children, whose short lives had been spent mostly indoors and in hospital settings, to unite with nature.

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Google Bay View Campus

Commercial Office Building | Mountain View, California, USA

Google’s goal was to create a new kind of workplace that supports the local community and is a part of the natural environment, something that’s highly flexible and can adapt to the changing needs of business. The project will enable the creation of vibrant habitats informed by the deep connections between people and nature.

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Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus

Commerical Office Building | Mountain View, California, USA

Microsoft’s renovated campus is an ecologically-integrated site that uses nature as a building block to be healthier for its workers and the surrounding environment. The people-centric redesign transforms a concrete corporate complex into a mesh of natural and built environments that feel more like a wildlife preserve than an office park.

One Innovale

High Rise Residential | Hong Kong

A complex of residential towers address the health and well-being of its residents. The project is surrounded by natural habitats to emphasize healthy living and biodiversity while blending nature-inspired and technology-infused innovations to connect residents with nature.

Learn more.

Playa Viva Bamboo Tree Houses

Hospitality | Juluchuca, Guerrero, Mexico

United by a shared commitment to regenerative development and a passion for natural building, the team was inspired by the flattened, prismatic bodies of the Mobula Rays that migrate past the site when designing six bamboo tree houses offering guests a deep connection with nature.

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Quinnipiac University Health and Wellness Center

Higher Education Facility | Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Through its design, Quinnipiac Health and Wellness Center is an ode to the local landscape. Embracing biophilia posited a powerful proposal for the team: that the architecture of the building itself— not just the clinical and recreational services it hosts— could positively impact mental and physical wellness.

Learn more.

SERA Headquarters

Office Interior Renovation | Portland, Oregon, USA

Drawing inspiration from Portland’s crowning jewel, the 5,200-acre Forest Park located just five miles away, the SERA design team created an experience that mimics a hike through Oregon’s lush trees.

Learn more.

Bundanon Art Museum & Bridge |

Public Museum | Illaroo, NSW

Bundanon occupies the land of the Yuin peoples. For millennia, it has been shaped by fire and flood. The design of its new buildings, landscapes and infrastructure for expanded education and art programs is necessarily driven by resilience, resistance and ecological repair, supported by indigenous practices of land management. Learn more.

The award applications are judged by a panel of biophilic design experts and experienced professionals. In 2023, the award was chaired by Erin Rovalo, Ph.D. alongside 2023 jurors Rita Trombin, Carlo Battisti, Oliver Heath, Mary Davidge, Tim Beatley, J.D. Brown, and Laura Hamilton-O’Hara. 

Thank you to our 2023 partners that have helped expand the award and further promote the adoption of biophilic design! Please visit their websites to learn more about the category awards, including finalists and winners as they are announced.

Learn more about the Australian category awards here.
Learn more about the European category awards here.
Learn more about the City category awards here.

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Written By

Erin Rovalo PhD

As Vice President of ILFI's Community Team, Erin Rovalo leads the team in their mission to empower an international and diverse community of practice with the skills, values, and knowledge necessary to take bold action towards a living future. Erin has 15 years of experience in sustainable innovation consulting and adult education and is a recognized expert in biomimicry and nature inspired design methods. She is an experienced scholar and researcher holding a PhD in Design Practice and has published academic research as well as editorial articles in Fast Company, Greenbiz, and Metropolis among others. Her goal is to leverage ILFI’s education platform to connect research to practice and accelerate positive, data-driven change at the frontier of regenerative design. In addition to her role at ILFI, Erin is Faculty Associate in the MSc Biomimicry program jointly offered by Arizona State University and Biomimicry 3.8 where she teaches Biomimicry & Design and iSites: Nature Journaling for Biomimicry. She serves on the Board of Directors for The Biomimicry Institute whose mission is to empower people to create nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet. Erin lives in Roseville, CA and is an aspiring encaustic artist.