The Pop-Up Forest Bathing Pod is a temporary demountable and reusable urban intervention that brings the Forest in to the heart of our hard-edged cities. It demonstrates the power of nature and reminds us how important it is to catch our breath and find a moment of calm in our busy lives.
The Pod creates a momentary sensory block from the cacophony of our urban lives. Lounging in the pod with the door shut behind you, allows people to bathe in the cool and soft quiet of the trees. The mirrors on the inside of the pod reflect the trees within to create an infinite forest.
Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese term that means “forest bathing.” It was developed during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.
Researchers have established a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits of spending time under the canopy of a living forest. Now their research is helping to promote shinrin-yoku and forest therapy throughout the world.
We have always known this intuitively, but in the past several decades there have been many scientific studies that are demonstrating the mechanisms behind the healing effects of simply being in wild and natural areas. For example, many trees give off organic compounds that support our “NK” (natural killer) cells that are part of our immune system’s way of fighting cancer.
The scientifically-proven benefits of Shinrin-yoku include:
Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body’s Natural Killer (NK) cells.
Reduced blood pressure
Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
Increased energy level
We developed our brief to try and highlight the issue of a lack of green space within our cities and also to remind people of how important it is to protect and nurture the bits of green we do have. At the same time we were raising awareness of self-care and the importance of being mindful of our own physical and mental health. In this way the Forest-pod is a resource for information and advocacy for forest therapy and positive nature connection.
The tricky part of realising this brief was finding a way to create a de-mountable and re-usable immersive forest experience on a very small budget.
The Forest Bathing Pod has already been re-used several times in different locations and more events planned in the future.
BCA Landscape – Landscape Architects – Andy Thomson, Craig Mitchell
Project Location: Liverpool UK [so far]
Design year: 2019
Year Built: 2019 and 2020 [separately]
Project description: PopUP Forest Bathing Pod