Bella Oaks Trellis

2011–2014 | Napa Valley CA

Client Private
Architect Michael Maltzan Architecture
Structural Engineer Guy Nordenson and Associates
Associate Structural Engineer Summit Engineering

For this private residence GNA was asked to design an outdoor freestanding trellis structure that is structurally separate from the main house, with the exception of a small portion incorporated in the house roof. The design uses varying sizes of curved glue-laminated Port Orford Cedar beams in a way that is both inventive and graceful. The pattern of the curved ribs creates a series of diagonal lines that provide in plane bracing to the trellis. These lines are apparent as thickened relative to the others. The occasional large scale openings and other variations interrupt the regular pattern.

An aluminum frame supported on steel plate columns forms the base of the structure while the curved 1-9/16in thick laminated beams laterally brace the aluminum beams, and thicker 3-1/8in laminated beams make up the diagonal members that transfer lateral loads to columns and also brace the aluminum beams. The curved glu-lam beams were fabricated by Gordon Plume in Washington state and are made up of thin strands of Port Orford Cedar made into veneers then pressed into the curves and precisely cut. Port Orford Cedar is also known as Hinoki and is the wood used to build Japanese temples and shrines including the Naiku and Geku shrines in Ise.