Biophilic Design Showcased in Toyota Financial Services Projects

The concept of biophilic design derives from the notion of “biophilia,” which is defined as humankind’s innate biological connection to nature. Our team recently completed the Toyota Financial Services Center West (TFSW) in Chandler, AZ and the Toyota Financial Services Center East (TFSE) in Alpharetta, GA. Both projects featured biophilic design concepts in workplace strategy, interior architecture and design and branding design solutions.

When using the concept to materialize the two centers, the intention is to provide cognitive, psychological and physiological benefits to users of the space. Various benefits can include reducing stress, improving cognitive functioning and creativity, lowering blood pressure and assisting with mental fatigue, according to a report by Terrapin Bright Green on the 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design.

Throughout both centers, biophilic design concepts are abundant and intentional. A green plant wall was placed near the entrance of TFSE to allow employees to see it multiple times per day. Viewing nature is scientifically

proven to have a positive impact on mood and self-esteem, according to the Terrapin Bright Green report. Improved moods have been shown to occur most significantly in the first five minutes of experiencing nature. Viewing nature for ten minutes prior to experiencing a mental stressor has shown to stimulate heart rate variability and parasympathetic activity (i.e., regulation of internal organs and glands that support digestion and other activities that occur when the body is at rest). Viewing a forest scene for 20 minutes after a mental stressor has shown to return cerebral blood flow and brain activity to a relaxed state, according to that same report.

Beyond the green wall, the branding team designed pieces such as artful long glass tiles, representative of local flora, in each center. For Toyota Financial Services East, a pattern (left) shows the biophilic design concept of complexity in order, showing images of Southern live oak in different colors to represent different seasons.

In Toyota Financial Services West, the tiles are aligned vertically (above) showing drought tolerant succulents and other local flora.

Presence of water is another significant biophilic design feature, shown in the blue piece of art in the photo below. The piece is a contoured panel with presence of water condition feels compelling and captivating. Fluidity, sound, lighting, proximity and accessibility each contribute to a space that is stimulating, calming, or both, according to the Terrapin report.

In addition to the biophilic design concepts, our firm highlighted sustainable design choices throughout both centers. They are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified and received an LEED innovation credit. The centers included wall plaques that serve as a guided tour for educating visitors and users of the space on U.S. Green Building Council, Toyota’s green philosophies and LEED. Users can scan a QR code to get a map of the space to inform their journey throughout the experience centers.

To learn more about our branding team’s strategic visual communications design solutions, visit our Branding portfolio: