What is Wellness Architecture?

We define Wellness Architecture™ as the art and practice of designing and constructing buildings and spaces with a distinct set of principles to support people, purpose and planet in achieving maximum health and wellbeing. At Vera Iconica Architecture, we specialize in how environments positively impact the health and wellness of you, your co-workers and your family, while ensuring the legacy of a sustainable and thriving planet for generations to come.


The buildings and spaces we live in affect how we are and how we interact within them.

Why Wellness Architecture?

We have all felt the beneficial effects of time spent outdoors, even resulting in an intuitive sense that such experiences are good for you. And in fact, they are. Neuroscientists and microbiologists can name the changes in cognitive behavior and brain chemistry that many of us feel after communing with nature.

As research continues to establish the positive advantages of wellness living, we confidently explore the nourishing benefits of art and artifacts that bring us joy, materials and textures that stimulate a space, rituals that bring us into the present moment, thoughtful and refined flow through daily activities, elements that delight the senses, and more.

Studies show that better lighting and optimal thermal conditions can improve sleep scores by 25%. Better sleep, better you.  Source

People who spend time in buildings designed for wellness increase their cognitive abilities by over 60%. Our spaces make you smarter.  Source

We spend 90% of our time indoors. It should be good. And good for you. Source

Certain plants are indoor air purification powerhouses, helping to remove the most common indoor toxins. Breathe deeply now.  Source

The benefits of Wellness Architecture?

Our environment includes everything in and around us. 
We go beyond today’s rating systems for green or healthy design. We focus on every dimension of wellbeing.

A graph showing the benefits of Wellness Architecture vs. conventional methods.

Knowing what materials, products, and finishes in our environments are made of strongly influences our decisions as architects and designers. Each day more research surfaces about the damaging effects of chemicals found in building materials, furniture, cabinetry, paint, and carpeting. Luckily, there are plenty of healthy alternatives to choose from for your next project, and we’re here to help guide you.

Knowing how materials and design strategies can positively affect our health and wellbeing is just as important. Health isn’t simply the food we put into our bodies and the exercise we get each day or week. Health is multi-faceted and includes the impact our environments have on our bodies and minds.

We employ materials and design strategies proven to positively impact your wellbeing.

As pioneers of Wellness Architecture, we are continually pushing the envelope to better understand how inanimate objects, materials, and space affect the physical, psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of everyday life.

Our design principals will support your wellbeing from a holistic, multi-faceted, systemic approach.


This is what the experts are saying, and this is how we’re putting it into practice:

  • Selecting building materials and interior finishes to support human and planet health.
  • Our environments provide you with the tools, through design strategies influenced by scientific research, such as nudge psychology and nature connections, which help you live optimally and improve your sense of vitality.
  • Ensuring our spaces are created only with materials known to be friendly to the built-in environment. Why? Living in spaces with traditional building materials can create adverse health effects over time, such as stress, mental fatigue, and hormone disruption.
  • By avoiding the use of traditional building materials that omit toxins, such as those that can be inhaled through the air or absorbed through contact with the skin, we help create resilience!
  • Experiences shape our world, and our understanding of it. By designing all spaces to be about the experience of being there, and intentionally making those experiences beautiful and refined, we facilitate enjoyment and grace in your daily life.
  • Space is known to impact our emotional state. We curate and design spaces to support healthy responses to situations, such as stress reduction and attention restoration.
  • Nature is our ultimate guide for healthy living environments. Unnatural materials lack the ability to nourish us, and without that we miss out on the production of feel-good hormones that are so important for our sense of wellbeing.
  • Using natural building materials can contribute to reduced stress, depression, anxiety and other related mental health problems.
  • Spacial orientation and flow, curated intuitively and purely, reduces confusion and cognitive fatigue.
  • Our designs give inhabitants tangible and spiritual connections to themselves and the natural world.
  • Drawing on the premise of Attention Restoration Theory, thoughtfully placed windows, or an artifact, can cause one to pause and reflect, bringing us into the present and reducing stress.
  • Seamlessly blurring the lines of inside and out, we are able to facilitate a direct link between our shelter and our surroundings.
  • We find that spiritual wellness goes beyond religious beliefs and, in essence, is how we see the world and our place within it. Spacial experiences which uplift our spirit and bring us into the present moment support healthy spiritual wellness by elevating our consciousness and mindfulness.
  • Our underlying principle is one of “balance.”
  • Environmental wellbeing promotes interaction with nature and your personal environment, encouraging us to be stewards of the environment and commune with it often.
  • Materials that come from the natural environment make up the “living structure” and will promote health.
  • Eventually, when these materials are no longer in use, they are returned to the natural environment and will integrate with the environment, and cause no harm.
  • The less adulterated a material it is, the healthier it will be for people and planet.
  • Occupational wellness inspires us to prepare for work in which we will gain personal satisfaction and find enrichment in our life.
  • By inserting graceful experiences into the rhythms and actions of everyday life, we are able to facilitate harmony, beauty and peace. In so doing, we help contribute to the holistic, healthy lifestyle you desire.
  • Feeling at ease and supported at home helps one cope with everyday stressors from work and elsewhere, and find more purpose.
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