Architecture and biophilia: Creating spaces that promote a positive affiliation with nature and the living world
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The outdoors and its natural elements have become a growing interest to me in the last couple of years – especially the reasons why people are attracted to them. I believe one of the major reasons is to escape everyday life, the chaos of the city, in search for relaxation and a sense of well-being. Trees, water, wildlife, and natural scenery in general, are some of the things that evoke these certain feelings and relieve stress in peoples’ lives. There are many reasons people escape to the great outdoors, including release from stresses of city life, being closer to nature, physical exercise, viewing the scenery, and much more. These feelings and desires have also come to be known as “biophilia”, a term that describes the human biological need to affiliate with nature (Wilson, 1984). Something I’ve noticed when exploring the outdoors and lodging accommodations is that, resorts and cabins in particular, are becoming more and more like the homes that people leave behind every weekend, and I’ve come to believe the true definition of a cabin has somehow been lost over time. Someone may say they have a cabin at the lake, but in reality it is an 1800 sq ft lake home, with all the same modern amenities a person or family left behind for the weekend. With this project I wish to explore the true meaning of cabin life, and bring it back to cabin resort design. Cabins have a certain character and quality that is much different than that of a house. The site I have chosen, just north of St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, is a wonderful location for this project. A family that I know very well currently lives on the site, and they love it because of its natural characteristics - topography, water, trees, views, etc. This site also used to be a campground many years ago, and I think it still has the potential to be the site of a resort, given all these natural characteristics that it has to offer.