Darden Architects on Biophilic Design in the latest issue of The Business Journal

Darden Architects firm Associate and Architect Matt Heiss was interviewed for an article on Biophilic Design in the most recent issue of the Central Valley Business Journal.

Here is an Excerpt from the article: ” Matthew Heiss, an architect and associate with Darden Architects in Fresno, said that biophilic design is an amorphous concept, but he describes it as trying to incorporate aspects of nature that create positive emotional responses for occupants of buildings. Heiss said that the core of biophilic design comes from the biophilic hypothesis that humans
have an innate fascination with and desire to be in nature, and always seek more natural environments and attempt to recreate that experience through
building spaces. “There has been an increase in the broader community at large in awareness about sustainability and how we can improve the way we operate today to improve or not harm the ability of future generations to succeed and have a beautiful place to live,” Heiss said.

Darden does a lot of work for the public sector, especially schools, and clients are showing interest in more outside spaces for learning and getting out of the four-wall room to provide more biophilic connections, but also to utilize existing space for the most students. Because the Central Valley has notoriously bad air quality, and there is not much that architecture or building can do to change it, transparency into the outside world has come to the forefront in design, especially for schools, creating a more open environment.

Currently, Heiss is working on a project for the State Center Community College District, an addition to the Clovis Community College campus, which will house technical education programs including environmental science programs. The layout of the space is configured to a U-shaped building that will feature a north facing set of classrooms, and a glazed fourth wall to allow the natural environment in, and allow people outside to see into the building. It will also feature a courtyard within the U-shape that will be designated with the different biomes found in California. “Looking for opportunities to incorporate biophilic design principles is always a benefit to a project without adding a ton of costs,” Heiss said.”

CLICK HERE to read the full article in the most recent issue of the business journal

Special thanks to the Business Journal and the Author of this article, Frank Lopez.
Also big thanks to State Center Community College District and the Clovis Community College for the opportunity to work on the New Applied Technology Building referenced in the article.


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