Nature can influence the architectural interiors of a particular region, just like the facade, form, or materials on the exterior are influenced by nature. The natural surroundings of a particular region influence the colours, materials, spatial planning, structural systems, etc., of a structure. Including architecture interiors according to the regions will allow it to blend in with the surrounding and also help deal with factors like climate and other site features. Just like exterior architectural features differ from region to region, its interior features also differ.

Influence Of Nature And Region On Spatial Planning

Spatial planning of the structures depends upon region to region. The spaces that might be viewed as a necessity in one region may not be considered of importance in another region. It might be due to the location in which it is built, climatic conditions, or other natural factors. 

Having a physical activity centre indoors might be necessary for regions where there is a harsh climate all year round, and it is difficult for people to spend time outdoors. Whereas a space for cattle shed or storing grains, apart from the living room, kitchen, and sleeping areas, in highland areas might be of utmost importance. Or in regions where the climate is not harsh, or the location does not demand any of the above-mentioned spaces, may only have areas like a living room, bedrooms, kitchen, toilets, and storeroom.

Influence Of Nature And Region On Materials

Using materials in the interiors obtained locally in the region would reflect the outside nature inside the building. It would also help deal with various natural factors like keeping the thermal environment inside the space stable and comfortable and prevent environmental damage to the material. Using locally available materials in the interiors would also help reduce the carbon emission that would result in less harm to the region.

Influence Of Nature On Lighting, Interior Elements, Etc.

Lighting inside a space, both natural as well as artificial, are also different according to different regions. In regions where the climatic conditions are harsh and openings have to be kept minimal, the natural light inside a space might be too less. In contrast, in regions where the weather patterns are bearable, there are large openings and the interiors are flooded with daylight transforming the spaces completely. Lighting effects also display differently according to the different colors in interior spaces.

Bringing in the home the elements of nature in the form of natural materials for tables, chairs, wall hangings, closets or intricate wood/stone-carved display objects, ornamental lightings, or any element that is made by local and natural material, could also depict the outside nature inside the structures and uniqueness of the region.

Examples

1. Alpine regions

In the Alpine regions of Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, etc., where the Swiss Chalet style of architecture is prominent, the interior is adorned in a warm color palette, generally in the shades of brown, that echo the natural environment enveloping it. 

To reflect the outside nature in the interiors, the structural elements, floors, ceilings, and walls are made with wood, which is left unfinished and unpainted for a rough-look. Sometimes, the wood pieces have ornately carved shapes of the foliage denoting the rich flora of the Alps. Abundantly available stone too is used for stability and can be seen in the interiors. 

The alpine climate allows for long balconies and several window openings in the rooms to provide views of the mountains and also fill the interior spaces with sunlight. Since the chalet was originally meant to provide a shelter for the cowherds, shepherds, and their animals, the interiors of this style of architecture have barn-like aesthetics. In the traditional chalet, (also depending upon the region), there is a room for animals to stay, and a space for their storage and field tools inside the house.

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Swiss Chalet house ©idaaf.com/typical-houses-from-ten-countries-all-over-the-world/  
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Wood finished interiors ©www.pufikhomes.com/en/stili-interera/shale/ 
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Barn-like rooms ©homelilys.com/interior-design-ideas/17-swiss-chalet-decorating-style/ 

2. Ladakh, India

Ladakh in India has spatial planning that adapts to the climate and topography of the region. The structures are two-storeyed, where the main activity area, i.e., the living room, kitchen, bedroom, and toilets are on the first floor. The living room is placed on the south side facing the sun and has large windows, whereas rooms like storages are placed on the opposite side. 

The kitchen is also placed in a manner that the heat produced while cooking provides warmth all over the floor. The ground floor is for the livestock, whose bodily heat gets transferred to the upper floor and provides additional warmth to the residents. To maintain a comfortable temperature inside the structure, the rooms are designed to be compact (as compact as 3m-4m). 

Due to scarcity of water, the region of Ladakh also demands to have dry toilets, so a room is designed on the ground floor for the collection of waste. The use of local materials- earth and timber, in the structures provide a comfortable temperature both in summers as well as in winters. The interiors are also kept dark, which traps the heat within the interior spaces.

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Settlement in Ladakh. Maximum windows facing the sun ©www.tourism-of-india.com
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Interior of Ladakhi structure. Dim interiors to trap solar heat ©www.kamit.jp/05_wooden/1_ladakh/xint_eng.htm
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Compact rooms and locally available materials inside that blends with nature ©www.notonmap.com/destinations/ladakh/indus-valley/singay-house 

3. Cyclades Islands, Greece

In contrast to the above examples is the example of architecture interiors of Cycladic Islands in Greece. The whitewashed exteriors of the structures have equally whitewashed interiors. Focusing less on aesthetics, the interiors of the structures is designed only as a base to protect the structure from the intense heat in the region. 

The ground floor is made by carving out the volcanic rock of the islands so as to keep away from the intense solar heat. The windows are kept small and less in numbers just to suffice for the light and ventilation inside the spaces. Some façades completely lack windows which make the interiors appear cave-like. 

Few houses that have flat roofs have hidden vaults that are only visible inside the spaces. This is because vaults span the spaces, and the flat roof above gives extra protection from the intense solar heat. The mountainous terrain could allow for small houses just to suffice the needs for living, and accommodate a large number of people. So, the houses have living space, that is designed at the front, a kitchen area, and a sleeping space. 

The kitchen room is in the middle and the bedroom in the back. The bathroom is generally outside the house. The white chic color on the exteriors and interiors, which also echo the white wave foam of the Aegean Sea, help in reflecting the intense heat. And the blue color of the windows, and doors is to blend in with the sky and the sea. 

These cubic minimalistic houses also have built-in closets, beds, tables, and other utilities, as it is less expensive and also to cope up with the limited space in the house. It also makes the interiors appear large and clean.

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White houses on Cyclades island ©www.santorini-view.com/white-houses-of-santorini/ 
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Built in seating and small size of door and windows ©www.thegreekfoundation.com 
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Small size rooms and built in bed ©www.thegreekfoundation.com 
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Minimal interior and vault ceiling ©www.pinterest.com 

Since every region has different architectural styles, considering various interior needs for that particular region and designing according to it would not only let the architecture interior blend in the region, but also imbibe a sense of connectivity within the users with the nature of that place, and will also help retain the uniqueness and identity of the region.

Author

Pranjali is a passionate artist and an architect who loves to blend her designs with nature. She designs meticulously and is always exploring the impact of architectural spaces on user's mind and body. You will find her lost in travelling, daydreams, books, and also on mountain trails.

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