Archive for the Portfolio Category

Smithbuilt Project: Radius House in the New York Times

Posted in Design/Building Portfolio, Portfolio on June 16, 2010 by smithbuilt

The Radius House was featured in the New York Times. 

Smithbuilt Project: Little Lane Studio

Posted in Artwork, Design/Building Portfolio, Portfolio on May 13, 2010 by smithbuilt

When my friend Julie asked if I would help her to design Little Lane Studio– a children’s art school, I jumped at the chance. It seemed like a great way to revisit my former teaching career while focusing on something really important-teaching kids art.

Designing a space that is compelling from a kid’s perspective was an intriguing challenge that I couldn’t wait to get started on. Julie and I discussed my collaborative style of working and set up some initial design sessions.

We keyed off of Julie’s inspiration board- a series of images that she had collected to help define the mood and tone of her artistic space.

Through our conversations we decided that building out the space with recycled materials was the appropriate look we were trying to achieve as well as conveying the right inspirational message to the kids.

After deciding that the space should house some large art tables we set out to Heritage Salvage. Our friend and owner of Heritage Michael “Bug” Deacon pointed us towards some re-sawn structural parralam beams that were perfect for our project.

We talked about needing two tables of differing heights and decided that to conserve space that they should be able to nestle.

I welded up some table bases from 2 x 2 x 1/4” galvanized angle iron with 4 x 4 x1/4” galvanized legs and found some heavy duty casters. I sized the smaller table to roll under the larger one for storage when not in use.

I joined the beams together to create a table surface and coated them in an epoxy resin.

We also used the beams as benches and found some beautifully patinaed siding boards that we re-sized and milled for the bench backs.

Lastly, we wanted to create “a nest” serving as a metaphor and a visual focal point -for home and creativity.

And as luck would have it, while on a trip to the San Francisco recycling center, I was able to talk a guy into helping me load a gigantic wisteria vine that he had just pulled out of his mother’s backyard into me truck. Score.