Archive for April, 2009

Bardessono Hotel Vertical Garden

Posted in Vertical Garden on April 2, 2009 by smithbuilt

This is a vertical Tillandsia garden I installed in collaboration with Flora Grubb and Seth Boor. There was a story about it in the New York Times.

New York Times article

Me, Flora, Seth, and Greyson with the Tillandsia garden


SmithBuilt’s collaboration process inspires one-of-a-kind results. Most recently, SmithBuilt collaborated to create a “green” art installation as the main feature of the lobby at the The Bardessono hotel in Napa Valley. SmithBuilt created and installed a vertical garden on the hotel’s main entrance walls using Tillandsia, “air” plants which need little to no water. The project was lauded in the New York Times as “a striking substitute for wasteful displays of cut flowers” that has the effect of “a Victorian collector’s cabinet of curiosities” full of “abstracted sea creatures.” SmithBuilt worked with Flora Grubb of Flora Grubb Gardens and Seth Boor of Boor Bridges Architecture to conceive and build the garden.

This recent collaboration is one of many, that you can read about here.


Smithbuilt Project: Radius House

Posted in Design/Building Portfolio on April 2, 2009 by smithbuilt

Originally built in 1962 by architect Danielle Lieberman as his residence.

His vision includes radiant slab heating -unheard of in 1962, and bulletproof airplane windows as skylights.

The entire building utilizes reclaimed materials most of which were supplied by a salvaged (and then sandblasted) railroad bridge from Ukia Ca. in the early 60’s.

Designed as a curvilinear structure, this building is dug into the hillside for cooling and oriented for passive solar gain during the winter.

This center spire serves as a “structural post” supporting the roof joists.

Imagine a bicycle wheel on its side with one half missing. The hub is the spire and the spokes are the roof joists. The rim is a semi-circle which reflects the semi-circular CMU wall set into the hillside.

The fireplace is comprised of handset stones from a local quarry placed by Danielle and crew.

The full-sized River Stone was originally covered with a lambskin rug for basking in front of the fireplace.

Basking dog.

Kitchen with custom walnut table.

Bedroom in the redwoods.


This is the second bath notice the airplane windows inserted into the CMU wall. At certain times during the day the windows transfer the outside light in acting as prisms.

This is a cabinet designed to mimic an early 19th century Japanese tonsu owned by the client.