Local New Orleans Designer Travels to China
Beverly Katz of Exterior Designs Spends Labor Day with brother architect Larry Samuelson, AIA in Chengdu, China
Beverly Katz, local New Orleans landscape designer and owner of Exterior Designs, travels to Chengdu City, Sichuan, China to visit brother architect Larry Samuelson, AIA. During her time abroad, Samuelson showed his sister around and introduced her to his latest modular home project.
Chengdu is the capital of China’s southwestern Sichuan province and perhaps most commonly known for its cuisine, the spicy Sichuan peppercorn that flavors the region’s hot-pot dishes. Also the home of the giant panda, Chengdu has established the world-renowned breeding and research base for giant pandas that attracts almost 100,000 visitors each year. Covering tens of hectares with bamboo groves and a native-like habitat, the base is the only one of its kind located in an urban area.
Like most urban areas, strategic planning is becoming increasingly important in Chengdu to develop sustainable solutions for the growing populations that are putting pressure on housing, infrastructure and the environment. Samuelson has been working in Chengdu advising Chinese developers and government on strategic land planning for housing, hotel and resort projects using modular design and construction techniques. “It was a wonderful opportunity to see my brother in his element, working on a project that he is so passionate about”, says Katz. While Samuelson shared his ongoing work with his sister, Katz was able to draw from her New Orleans Courtyard style and plant material knowledge to help her brother with landscape ideas. These concepts incorporate Katz’s knowledge to make the most out of tight spaces and could accommodate the City’s growing populace to potentially be used in future urban development.
“Many plants and flowers commonly incorporated in our local New Orleans gardens – sananquas, camellias, nandinas and hollies – are all indigenous to Asia. Seeing these plants in their native habitat was an experience of a lifetime”, says Katz.