AbstractBiomimicry in architecture is a functional approach that is meant to equip architects with innovative, sustainable models. However, developing research refers to shortages in this approach, claiming that its outcome is not inherently sustainable and that, in most cases, they are visually poorly integrated into nature. In a trial to redeem these shortages, the aim of this paper is to suggest a more ecological, nature-based approach that combines biomimicry with the peer visual–psychological approach of biophilia. Reaching this aim, it introduces a new reading of an architectural pioneering work with superior qualities in terms of function, sustainability, as well as spatial/visual expression. Using several sources of qualitative data, that is, direct observation, documents, videos, and expert’s opinions, the study investigates Antoni Gaudí’s design for the Sagrada Família, underlining his avant-garde, precursor integration of the two approaches. It concludes that it is possible to go beyond simply mimicking functions of nature to composing architecture that is in tune with it, developing bio-inspired practices that are more receptive to human psychological needs and well-being.

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