Raised on a farm in New Jersey, Daniel Liebermann studied architecture at Harvard for about a year before transferring to the University of Colorado to study sculpture. After collecting his MFA degree, Liebermann was heading from Boulder back to New Jersey and decided to make a detour up to Wisconsin to pay a call on Frank Lloyd Wright.
Luckily for Liebermann, Wright happened to be in that day, and shortly after their meeting, he began a fellowship at Wright’s Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Ariz. After apprenticing with Wright for two years, Liebermann scrapped his plans to go back to Jersey and instead moved to Northern California, first working for a landscape architecture firm, then as an associate under Aaron Green, Wright’s partner in designing his largest public project and final commission, the Marin County Civic Center.
In 1958, aged 28, Liebermann got his first solo commission, designing a home for his parents on a large parcel of land in Mill Valley. After finishing his parents’ residence, Liebermann built one for himself and his wife next door. Adding a new layer of meaning to the word “wheelhouse,” these two projects would be the first of about a dozen or so homes Liebermann produced employing the same general design concept of a central sculptural column, constructed of different materials including woven steel rods and cast-in-place concrete, with wooden beams radiating outward to define the building periphery. Incorporating recycled building materials, found objects, and passive solar strategies, Liebermann’s designs prioritize conservation and a harmonious relationship with nature.
Currently on the market in Marin County is a property containing the last two radial-style residences the architect designed. Like the original pair, one was for himself, the other for someone else. Sited atop a ridge in the heavily forested, sparsely populated unincorporated community of Inverness, between Point Reyes and Tomales Bay, the rustic structures were built and worked on over the course of a decade or so, beginning in 1996. According to a 2003 feature in SFGate, Liebermann drew inspiration for the site-planning of his compound from old European hill towns.
As with his previous dwellings, the Inverness buildings were assembled largely out of recycled materials, including lumber from trees that were casualties of a devastating fire in the area the year before Liebermann began construction. Other ingredients in the mix include poured-in-place concrete, strategically placed skylights, walls of windows, and built-in furniture. Per the listing description, permits have been issued enabling expansion and upgrading of the 1,400-square-foot main structure.
While the nearest convenience store is inconveniently located several miles away, the pastoral property makes up for this shortcoming with spectacular outlooks overlooking Point Reyes Peninsula and Mount Vision. On a one-acre parcel, it’s asking $2.39 million. Lotte Toftdahl and Sarah Kowalczyk of Compass share the listing.