An interdisciplinary exploration of architecture and textiles in structural efficiency through geometry; A celebration of our lineage at Black Mountain College.


Brandon Pass is a licensed architect with his own practice. Libby O’Bryan is an artist and owner of Sew Co., a sewing manufacturing and product development studio. We are married. Our collaborative process seeks to challenge the boundaries that formally define our methods of making – structure, form, space, order; and exploit the utility common to both – protection, shelter, warmth, community. The essence of both practices align. Both require effective materials and constructions to serve their purpose. Both disciplines have analogous forms – i.e. armor, Bedouin tents, pneumatic structures, umbrellas. In further exploration of these intersections between the built environment and the woven/stitched object, we will create a habitable structure that requires the use of tensile and solid mass structure for the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center and Media Arts Project {Re}Happening event.

Inspired by the Abelam Spirit Houses of Papau New Guinea, which are ceremonial structures housing the tribe’s ancestral souls and central to tribal cultural life, our Spirit House will be a similar beacon on the island of Lake Eden. Our community reveres the site of Black Mountain College for the creative energy it experienced. Our purpose for the structure is to commemorate and communicate with BMC’s ancestral legacy such as Buckminster Fuller, Walter Gropius, Ruth Asawa and Anni Albers who continue to guide us. We strive to spark dialogue for a more interdisciplinary approach to architecture and textiles.

The Spirit House pavilion uses a basic triangulated modular form, nested in a concentric pattern to build an arching canopy, much like nature structures itself. Each tetrahedral section provides an intimate space for contemplation; the central intersections of the units rise to provide a place for shared, communal interactions. Reflective expanded aluminum shade cloth, typically used in greenhouse, will cover the Spirit House to give a reflective surface. Light from a small campfire will be reflected in the interior, while the exterior will reflect the light of the full moon occurring that night.

Each tetrahedral unit requires approximately 150 linear feet of 2×6 lumber; a 60 foot x 20 foot panel of reflective cloth; 40 bolts, nuts and washers; brackets; rope; and other miscellaneous hardware. We are estimating each unit having a $300 cost. Seven tetrahedral units create the intended design for the inhabitable Spirit House, coming to $2100. However, we will construct as many units as funding allows.  We added an additional $400 for truck rental and other surprise expenses.

For a higher resolution view please go HERE.

And to track the project development, HERE.

If the spirit moves you to support the Spirit House at the {Re}Happening, THANK YOU!!! Please let your friends and family know of your contribution to the arts by sharing our campaign.

If you have any resources that might offer us materials at a lower rate or possible donation, that would be amazing.  Please let us know

If you are unable to support us financially, but want to help ‘in spirit’, please share our campaign with your friends and family.

And everyone who can please come experience the entire {Re}Happening event at Black Mountain College on April 6, 2012.



Brandon Pass Architect is an architecture practice located in Asheville, North Carolina that strives to merge modern sensibilities and detailing with the vernacular influences of the region. Brandon Pass Architect is a small multidisciplinary practice pursuing an architecture that recognizes the responsibilities of the built form where environmental, social and contextual factors shape each insertion into a given landscape. Architecture should seek to express a given function through a strong clarity of space and form where the details become expressive and exploratory, respecting the hand of the maker while expressing a connection to a greater whole. The responsibility of the architect, in part, is to be aware of all factors of a given context that may inform the design process. It requires an extensive knowledge of and desire to learn new methodologies creating architecture of the highest quality respectful of both time and place.


Informed by a former career in New York City’s apparel industry, Libby O’Bryan creates environments for the contemplation of every­day decisions and cultural norms that function outside the commodity driven marketplace. Although asserting a politicized agenda, the aestheticized temporality of her performative/interactive installations provides incentive for its provocative nature. Drawing parallels between craft, the new art economy, and mass-production, she explores the relationships and of maker, machine, and consumer.