Landscape architecture practice leader, Nakheel Harbour and Tower, Steven Velegrinis, Tawazun Office, Woods Bagot, ZERO-E

Does landscape architecture play a role in the workplace?

Landscape urbanism, sustainability and the role of environmental design in climate change is paramount, according to Steven Velegrinis, landscape architecture practice leader, Woods Bagot, Middle East.

“The role of landscape in the workplace should be treated with far more seriousness and foresight than has traditionally been the case,” he said.

“From a more day-to-day workplace design, we know that landscape provides key quantifiable benefits: better air quality, heightened productivity and improved health and wellbeing.”

Velegrinis added that in an indoor environment, plants provide an attractive and flexible biofiltration system, reducing volatile organic compound concentrations caused by carpets, paints and glues.

Research conducted by NASA indicates that planting within a building vastly improves indoor air quality, with different plants providing varying effects.

Environmental psychology research has also found that indoor plants or tree views can reduce stress levels and blood pressure.

Similar studies by Kaplan found that office staff who can see out onto nature from their window have less health ailments and higher job satisfaction than those without. Studies focused on cognitive tasks, such as problem solving and making decisions, found that staff temperament is improved when plants are present.

“Through our recent designs including ZERO-E, Nakheel Harbour and Tower, Tawazun Office and other international projects, we are driving the importance of landscape as an integral architectural material and indeed a shaper of workplace design,” he said.

“More recently, our award winning design on the new workplace for Abu Dhabi Investment company, Tawazun, incorporated water features and a landscaped rooftop to draw nature into the workplace within the two floors and rooftop area of the Al Mammoura B Building.

“Likewise, as a vertical city, Nakheel Tower was designed to accommodate residents in an efficient LEED rated sustainable building with ‘sky villages’ linking public spaces, gardens and work environments,” he added.