When architect Olle Lundberg (Arch ‘79) bought 16 acres overlooking the virgin forests of the Gualala River canyon in California, the first thing he and his wife, Mary, did was plant a garden. “We started with tomatoes, but now after several expansions we have a citrus orchard, olive trees, grapes, kiwis, figs, Padrón peppers, and every heirloom tomato Mary can put her hands on,” says Lundberg. “At its height, the garden feeds my office.”
Then Lundberg, founder of an architectural firm in San Francisco, began construction of a cabin—work he does himself by hand, largely using salvaged materials. “In a world where we all become further and further removed from the act of making something, from the handmade, from the craft that produces individual works—it has been quite an experience to actually build my own house.”
The cabin is open plan; the only separate room is the bathroom. The windows are steel industrial units salvaged from various remodeling projects. “They give the cabin a ‘warehouse in the woods’ look,” says Lundberg. The deck surrounding the cabin features a reclaimed redwood water tank that has been transformed into a swimming pool.
“It’s a place of retreat that speaks to who we wish to be,” says Lundberg. “There is always another project on the horizon, and I’m sure it will never be done.”