Palm Beach Design Journal: SMI Landscape Architecture

Established in 1982, SMI Landscape Architecture has been creating picturesque gardens and been one of the top national firms for almost 40 years. Though most renowned for creating beautiful residential gardens in Palm Beach, the work of the firm reaches nationally and extends into commercial and urban sectors. In recent years, the firms foray into these realms includes One Vanderbilt in New York City, Flagler Towers in West Palm Beach, The Gibbes Museum in Charleston, the Bacardi Headquarters in Miami, and the renovation of Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.

Whether working on a residential garden in Palm Beach or a high‐rise building in New York City, the firms approach remains the same. The partners, Jorge Sanchez, Brian Vertesch, John Lubischer, and Claudia Visconti state, “our philosophy always revolves around three main items; the client, the architecture, and the site. We do not have one style that we try to impose on each project. Instead, we are driven by our relationship and understanding of the client, what the architect brings to the table, and the advantages and constraints of the site.”

SMI partners Jorge Sanchez, Brian Vertesch, John Lubischer, and Claudia Visconti stand next to a collected specimen tree they brought in for their recently completed project, Bradley Park, in Palm Beach.  

The firm’s approach has led to their work gracing the covers of numerous magazines and books, and being granted both local and international awards. Even with the quantity of work that this level of recognition can bring in, the firm still finds time to donate their time and expertise to worthy causes. Most recently, the firm donated their design and construction observation services to the Garden Club and Town of Palm Beach to create the new Tidal Garden within Bradley Park. The new garden was a solution implemented to deal with the king tides that would inundate the park and damage the landscaping. They also completed the “Slat House Garden” at Kips Bay Showhouse 2021 benefitting the Boys and Girls Club. 

The firm has also created other iconic public spaces within the town. Numerous individuals can be seen daily enjoying the amenities on Worth Avenue, the Memorial Fountain Park, Bradley Park, and Pan’s Gardens. The partners all agree, “seeing our clients and the public enjoying the gardens we create is such a rewarding experience.”

They blend coastal elements with tailored, sophisticated furnishings then highlight natural light to produce a bright and airy room design.