You might not intuitively associate wildflowers with mathematics, but as Ian Simpson Architects proves, the relationship between the two can inspire beautiful architecture. The architecture firm was part of the winning team in an open, international design competition to design the addition to an existing building at the British National Wildflower Center. The addition is meant to offer additional space for educational purposes, conferences, and seed production. In Ian Simpson’s winning design, a Fibonacci spiral sits slightly offset from beds of wildflowers, a metaphorical embrace of the mathematical patterns found in nature.
The design, according to Grant Luscombe, Chief Executive of Landlife, was also the public’s favorite design — a tribute to its ability to appeal to the public’s sensibility of beauty while also drawing from basic mathematical principles. Luscombe also said about the design: “Entering the ‘flower head’ structure will be an inspirational experience by demonstrating how artists, architects and engineers over the centuries have used the simple angles and numerical sequences found in wildflowers.”
The British National Wildflower Center is a destination located in Knowsley, the center promotes the “creation of new wildflower habitats for people to enjoy and where wildlife can flourish and develop.” As an organization, the center works to increase the public’s awareness of the important role that wildflowers play in the environment.
The other shortlisted practices in the competition include: DM3 Architecture, Kirkland Fraser Moor, Nicolas Tye Architects, Studio Verna, and Urban Salon Architects. The competition was partly sponsored by the Royal Institute of British Architects.