The concept of wellness aims to find a balance that can bring harmony, while still giving each one the space to develop. A few well-known examples of wellness are exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding reckless behavior. Lesser-known examples gaining popularity in the past half-century include emotional and mental therapy and paramedical services. So where does architecture play a role in wellness?
According to the Global Wellness Institute, Wellness Architecture is defined as, “the practice of architecture that relies on the art and science of designing built environments with socially conscious systems and materials to promote the harmonious balance between physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual wellbeing while regenerating the natural environment. Human health, wellbeing and comfort are key design considerations that augment a foundation rooted in sustainable and regenerative design practices.”
Did your eyes just glaze over? Mine too. In short, wellness architecture is the idea of designing a building or structure that promotes Human well-being, by connecting occupants to their environment and improving the experience of the built environment itself. This places a good deal of responsibility on the architect(s), as they are challenged with balancing budget and client demands with sustainability and end-user well-being.
The Wellness Design of Treeline Home
Bringing the outside in has quite a buzz in the custom-home world. Historically, public spaces in the community have been defined by – and often existed in – outdoor areas. But homes have “public space” too. The design of the Treeline home draws the view of the surrounding mountains and meadows into the home itself, using the organic flow of the outdoor space to define the living, dining, and kitchen areas of the home.
Design can bring the outside in conceptually as well, instilling a sense of peace and well-being through the increased exposure to nature through design. While the public spaces of the Tree-line home focus on connecting you to wide, expansive mountain views, the private spaces (such as bedrooms and bathrooms) focus their views towards the more enclosed, secluded woods, bringing a sense of security and safety to allow rest.
Innovative architecture combines conceptual design and functional form to bring both aesthetics and usefulness to space. The Treeline home also utilizes unbroken post lines and a single roofline to mimic the natural shape of a forest canopy, drawing the Tree-line home into its namesake.
The elongated posts conjure the image of tree trunks supporting the home under a wide, protective roof canopy. The use of framing mimics the tree shape found in the region, and the wide use of glass invites comparison to the way light filters through the tree leaves onto the forest floor. The framing and swaths of glass reflect the lightness of the surrounding trees, using the openings to bring the surrounding views into the home, making the lived experience an experience in and of itself.
Diversly, the mass of the retaining and basement walls, solid and unbroken, mimics the impenetrability of the mountain and grounds the house into the mountainside.
This mass also helps to separate the garage from the rest of the spaces of the home, removing the mental trigger of returning to the “outside world,” truly solidifying the Tree-line home as a paragon of peace and tranquility.
The connections to the surrounding context of Treeline home are just one example of how design can contribute to overall well-being. The strong connections to nature and designing a structure around the essence of a place offer a unique experience and a value far beyond a standard home.