Lead Duluth Airport Terminal Interior Designer Puts Northland into Her Work

By KBJR News 1

January 11, 2013 Updated Jan 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Interior Designer and Duluth East High School graduate Elizabeth Samsa has been actively pursuing, shaping and molding her passion for design for as long as she can remember.

"Inspiration for me comes from everywhere. It can be someone just passing by on the street, it could be a building. Really, I just gravitate toward any kind of energy," said Samsa as she flipped through the blueprints of the new Terminal.

Her 10 years of interior design–related jobs have not only landed her a position with the architecture firm TKDA, but her imprint on the Northland is already well established in projects like the Zeitgeist Arts Café.

"That was one of my favorite projects to date, so I love it," said Samsa.

When it came to designing the new terminal, Samsa had a balancing act on her hands: utilize warm, natural colors that offset the region's cold climate, while accenting and embracing what makes the Northland, well, the Northland. That included an undulating, reflective ceiling that shares the same qualities with one great lake.

In fact, the attention to north woods detail goes down to the very last reed on every trash receptacle.

"...those natural wood colors, we have a dark blue... muted green palates, so very natural earth tones," said Samsa, pointing out the color scheme on the concourse carpet.

Samsa says familiar Northland patterns on the concourse glass wall provide people with a sense of comfort and security.

"It has this birch–like tree pattern, and it's dimensional, and it provides interest and... security. So, we're... bridging form and function together," said Samsa.

But Samsa says massive glass walls serve to remind travelers of the beauty that awaits them outside: "We have a ton of natural daylight, so you can see the beautiful trees outside."

And, while finding the balance between aesthetics and durability, among other things, posed a challenge, Samsa says the end result is always worth it.

"You just can't get distracted by those... really, you just have to focus on the goal, the client, and the vision," said Samsa.

With the help of many Northland workers and sub–contractors, that vision has been brought to life.

And what's the next big project in the pipeline for Samsa and TKDA? According to Samsa, the historical rehabilitation of the NorShor Theatre.

- Posted to the Web by Billy Wagness

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