Design for a Beneficial Human Footprint

The Meadow Farm House provides a deep connection to place, while providing daylighting and solar shading for occupants.

Meadow Farm House,
Northern California

What was once home to a cultivated landscape of orchards, gardens and farming, is transitioning toward a restored native ecology of meadow grasses and coastal live oaks. Through a combination of interwoven site and architectural design, the Meadow Farm House in Northern California provides a deep connection to place. Striated color patterns in rammed earth walls extrapolate the gentle curve of existing site topography.

Designed for the wellbeing of its occupants, the structure provides daylighting, solar shading, natural ventilation and rooftop solar power harvesting through its building orientation and roof profiles. The building process emphasized the use of local materials such as rammed earth, reclaimed redwood, FCS certified Douglas fir and ceramic tile. All of the materials are non-toxic, and those in safe, closed-loop manufacturing and reuse cycles were preferred to ensure the health of occupants.

Comprised of a series of pavilions, the 6,120 sf main house was designed with rolling zinc roofs that echo waves and wind patterns coming off the ocean, just visible from the property. The buildings are designed for disassembly and reuse from the start and are plumbed for future transition to graywater reuse. Each is also composed of multiple pavilions that can be repurposed for future use as additional housing, classrooms, nature center or community farms.



Organic farm and private residence


3 acres


Completed 2013


William McDonough + Partners, Architect
Bernard Trainor + Associates, Landscape
Carla Carstens, Interior Design
Tipping Mar + Associates, Structural
Timmons Design Engineers, MEP
Sherwood Design Engineers, Civil
Horton Lees Brogden, Lighting Designer
Davis Energy, LEED Consultant
Green Building Specialist, Inc., LEED Consultant

Awards + Certifications

LEED Platinum Certified