Architecture from Nature for Kids

Do you ever think about how buildings are made when you're out in nature? Many of the world’s most stunning buildings are inspired by the natural world. Explore how nature has inspired architectural phenomena, then build your own structure using geometric shapes found in nature.

Explore Wild Buildings and Bridges: Architecture Inspired by Nature to learn about structures created from natural phenomena.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture was inspired by The Shape of the World around him.

Buildings inspired by the natural world are all around us. Examine these examples for inspiration to create your own model of a building.

The “Gherkin” building in London was inspired by the Venus’ flower basket:

The Council House 2 building in Australia was inspired by African termite mounds:

Here in Chicago, there's the “Bean,” which was inspired by mercury drops:

Use hexagon and pentagon shapes to make a ball or other object. Cut out these different geometric shapes, then create an object inspired by something you see in nature. This activity is designed for kids in first through fifth grade, but can be done with younger children, or groups, if the shapes are cut out ahead of time.

Reflect on Your Learning

  • Describe the object you made. What inspired your creation?
  • What other buildings have been inspired by nature or what animals have inspired buildings?
We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Chicago Public Library