INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN WITH NATURAL & SUSTAINABLE FOCUS

ABOUT

Photo of Leor

I am Leor Didier Katz, I am a graduate of BA Hons Interior Design from Falmouth University, Cornwall.

My Interests lie in architectural psychology – focusing predominantly on the user, I try to view the building how they view it, feel it how they feel it. This naturally coincides with the commercial side of Interior Design.

I try to disclose meaning and emotion behind my work, I am driven and inspired by architecture and design that targets the psyche, either wowing or lifting the clients/ users mood, thus encouraging health & wellbeing.

My emphasis is on incorporating the natural world within my work through many forms but generally believe that we can take enough design inspiration from natural sources to provide a more authentically rich environment and consequently planet.

I try to always use a natural palette of materials and textures within my designs such as timbers, natural stones, and glass because it offers a sense of bringing the outdoors in. Combined with a highly sustainable and ecological focus, these principles reflect the ideologies of ‘Biophilic Design’.

BIOPHILIC DESIGN

Biophilic design is an emerging practice that aims to reconnect people with the natural world using architecture and design as a platform for doing so. Stemming from the Greek term ‘biophilia’, which was developed by American biologist Edward O. Wilson in 1980’s. This practice is proven to be a solution to combat ‘sick building syndrome’, the result of mass urbanisation of todays world, creating unhealthy living, working, learning and healthcare environments. This is about integrating nature within our built environment as a fundamental ingredient within the planning and design stages. It can be through direct or in-direct experiences of nature, using natural materials, textures, patterns and forms as opposed to the synthetic or man made. This aims to elicit a more visually preferred environment for the user allowing us to reconnect with our biological origins. It is also about ensuring comfortable air quality and adequate natural light within the interior environment. It should be noted that mutually, biophilic design (also known as restorative environmental design), is about our harmonious connection with the environment and therefore means we must be conscious and respectful, almost as sitting tenants to mother nature.

“Biophilic design is being championed as a complementary strategy for addressing workplace stress, student performance, patient recovery, community cohesiveness and other familiar challenges to health and overall well-being.”

- Terrapin Bright Green, 2014

“The basic goal of restorative environmental design is to rekindle and renew our compromised connections with the natural world”.

- Stephen R. Kellert, 2005

INSPIRATION

Photography c/o Green School.org

The Green School, Bali

PT Bambu

2014’s greenest school on earth, this project not only consists of incredible indigenous architectural achievement, but the creators behind this school – John and Cynthia Hardy, have recognisably produced a concept for a sustainable living and learning environment that offers children healthy, meaningful opportunity. It boasts complete local bamboo and cobb-wall construction using local Balinese carpentry techniques along with compost toilets and water vortex allowing it to remain off-grid.

Photography c/o Margherita Spiluttini

Therme Vals, Switzerland

Peter Zumthor

Peter Zumthors Therme Vals showcases how powerful an interior setting can be utilizing the power within simple and natural materiality, incorporating water and light as primary ingredients to evoke the desired atmosphere. This design touches the senses and creates a spa retreat that brothers a hotel refurbishment, using bespoke furniture and lighting designed by the Architect. I am particularly inspired by the use of the natural stone found from within the Therme region as a single material within the design, bringing locality. The pools flow between indoors and outdoors with a grass roof on top creating a submerged effect that allows the architecture to blend in within its natural landscape.

Photography c/o Enrico Conti

Naturescape, Milan

Kengo Kuma Associates

Kengo Kuma is one of my favourite architects, with extremely special and profound principles I relate to a lot, adopting the Japanese principles of simplicity, clever use of materiality and with an emphasis on the natural world. This piece offers a topographic showroom installation, using cast concrete to create a landscape emphasising the beauty within natural forms, combined with water and bamboo. It is inspired by form and movement, and allows the user to take a ‘stroll in nature’.




Photography c/o Falling water.org

Falling water, Pennsylvania

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wrights works and principles, and in particular this building, is my favourite piece. Its architectural achievement defies the possible, creating a structure that sits cantilevered above a waterfall in Bear Run, Pennsylvania offering the clients continuous sounds of water, and windows are at eye level with the trees immersing you within nature. The interior flows seamlessly into the exterior responding directly to its natural environment. Despite his consistent use of natural material, he experimented with cast concrete for the cantilevers, but it was the detailing such as bespoke windows with no corners, and steps that led straight into the water that really encouraged the human to nature connection.

Photography c/o Cook Jenshell

The High Line, New York

James Corner Field Operations

This project is an incredible example of restorative environmental design, it realises the importance for architectural rehabilitation offering a highly sustainable approach. The project showcases a converted elevated old new york rail line into a public garden and walkway with exhibition and community events held there encouraging a continuous biophilic environment within highly built up urban setting, arguably where it is most needed.


Photography c/o Adrian Welch

Maggies Centre, Dundee

Frank Gehry

His abstract and experimentation with shape, form and materiality make Frank Gehry an important figure in architecture. His statement piece for Maggies Dundee, allowed this beautiful concept of an alternative cancer care centre, to excel into a nationwide revolution. It moves away from the notion of health buildings being clinical and sterile – offering more of an emphasis within the natural world and allowing that, to do the healing or nourishing. In terms of health and wellbeing within the built environment, Maggies offers a new dynamic and inspiration for not only myself, but also all designers with respect and understanding for architectural psychology.

PORTFOLIO

CONTACT

LEOR KATZ

INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN

LEOR@KATZCREATIVES.CO.UK

+44 (0) 7580 008189