With the help of researchers at the School of Architecture and Built Environment and the concept of ‘biophilia,’ Melbourne’s five new Metro Tunnel stations will aim to achieve a refreshing level of human-friendliness.

The sound of water, biomorphic patterns, mystery, greenery and varying temperatures and airflows at the railway stations may be some of the elements considered to help make Melbourne’s new Metro Tunnel one of the world’s most innovative underground rail systems.

Deakin University researchers Dr Phillip Roös, Professor David Jones, and Mr Josh Zeunert – in association with Dr Paul Downton of Ecopolis – have worked with the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority to develop an international best practice biophilic design benchmark study, providing opportunities for biophilic design to be considered and potentially incorporated in the Metro Tunnel Project station designs.

The resulting “Creating Healthy Places” report recommends 15 patterns of biophilic design that are rooted in the philosophy of Biophilia. Biophilic design is a ground-breaking method that takes green architecture far beyond landscaping, water tanks or solar panels.

This design approach is a labour of love for Dr Phillip Roös, a Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Deakin, who describes biophilia as humans’ natural affinity with living things and the enhancement of our sensory experiences.

The research team noted that biophilic design acknowledges that any built environment is intruding on a natural environment and should therefore “emulate nature as much as possible” with the sound of water, biomorphic patterns, mystery, greenery and varying temperatures and airflows.

“This isn’t just about low-impact features like green spaces or water recycling. It is also recognising that humans are drawn to the patterns inherent in living things, so if we can create something that follows these rules of nature, humans will benefit, as well as the planet,” Dr Roös said.

For more information visit INEVNIO Deakin’s Research Newsletter.