We were asked to build a small – almost secret - garden in the space between a hillside home and the street’s edge four and a half feet above it. The client - an artist whose work draws inspiration from the natural world and defined by intricate craftsmanship – wanted a space to look and go into from an adjacent living room. Conceived of as almost a miniaturized jungle, the space was envisioned to eventually be grown over by robust and unique flora. As a supplement the artist would install bronze owls into the tableaux. Picking up on some of our studies with bent metal, we developed a lattice trellis which would provide an armature for the growth of vines, installation of small bronze sculptures, and shade. Exceptions to the structural module were made to provide openings – natural skylights - which the plants would not be able to grow over. We worked closely with the artist on details for the small garden including use of small bronze balls – a by-product of the bronze casting process - into the steps of the stairway meant to provide informal seating.
Photo Credit: Eric Staudenmaier