Fertile Grounds

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photos by:
February 26, 2010

Nestled in an apple grove in Sebastopol, California, the Orchard House is a rural idyll. And with the voracious design appetites of a family of gastronomically inclined clients, this concrete prefab construction is quite literally a moveable feast of a home.

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  The Hupert-Kinmont house lies low in a century-old apple orchard, far from neighboring houses. The spaciousness of the rural surroundings is echoed inside.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    The Hupert-Kinmont house lies low in a century-old apple orchard, far from neighboring houses. The spaciousness of the rural surroundings is echoed inside.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  The wide front door opens onto a wide central living space where the entire family—and a regular cast of visitors—spends much of their time.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    The wide front door opens onto a wide central living space where the entire family—and a regular cast of visitors—spends much of their time.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  The dining room table sits at one end of the main room, with an open view onto the rows of trees that extend out from two sides of the house. Natasha sets the table underneath a suspended fixture made by her mother, Naomi, out of a salvaged branch, crystal pieces, and strung bulbs.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    The dining room table sits at one end of the main room, with an open view onto the rows of trees that extend out from two sides of the house. Natasha sets the table underneath a suspended fixture made by her mother, Naomi, out of a salvaged branch, crystal pieces, and strung bulbs.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  A massive slab of cypress perched atop sawhorses provides storage for pots and utensils.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    A massive slab of cypress perched atop sawhorses provides storage for pots and utensils.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  The cooking area features two islands—one more permanent than the other. A concrete island contains various appliances. With the extra surface area, there’s plenty of room to roll out dough and a wide berth for Ian’s power chair.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    The cooking area features two islands—one more permanent than the other. A concrete island contains various appliances. With the extra surface area, there’s plenty of room to roll out dough and a wide berth for Ian’s power chair.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  The Andersons designed a system of four-by-four-foot concrete modules, created from a reusable formwork of 2-by-12-foot boards that could be easily moved around the site.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    The Andersons designed a system of four-by-four-foot concrete modules, created from a reusable formwork of 2-by-12-foot boards that could be easily moved around the site.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  By using the units repeatedly, the architects saved on cost and materials as well as scaling the work to be manageable with one concrete truck and a two-person crew. The resulting facades are textured from the rough wooden planks.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    By using the units repeatedly, the architects saved on cost and materials as well as scaling the work to be manageable with one concrete truck and a two-person crew. The resulting facades are textured from the rough wooden planks.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  Ben’s office contains an impressive reference library for his inventory of antiquarian books.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    Ben’s office contains an impressive reference library for his inventory of antiquarian books.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  An outdoor shower is made from one complete concrete module—a visual demonstration of how the entire house was built.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    An outdoor shower is made from one complete concrete module—a visual demonstration of how the entire house was built.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  In the master bedroom, more shelves were installed to accommodate the book collection.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    In the master bedroom, more shelves were installed to accommodate the book collection.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  The long hallway leading to the bedrooms gets spectacular afternoon sun, lighting up the family’s many works of art.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    The long hallway leading to the bedrooms gets spectacular afternoon sun, lighting up the family’s many works of art.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  In the living room fireplace, a bird turns on the antique French spit.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    In the living room fireplace, a bird turns on the antique French spit.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  The outdoor hearth is primed for cooking in the summer.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    The outdoor hearth is primed for cooking in the summer.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  The open office space is partially secluded thanks to the hanging Algues by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    The open office space is partially secluded thanks to the hanging Algues by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  Throughout the house all storage areas are open, leaving crockery, dishware, food, books, and clothes in plain view.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    Throughout the house all storage areas are open, leaving crockery, dishware, food, books, and clothes in plain view.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  Ben enjoys spending time outdoors on warm days cooking meals for his family.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    Ben enjoys spending time outdoors on warm days cooking meals for his family.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  The oversize hearth (of which there is an outdoor double) was part of the original design specifications. “Ben said he wanted a fireplace big enough to cook a wild boar,” says Mark Anderson of Anderson and Anderson.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    The oversize hearth (of which there is an outdoor double) was part of the original design specifications. “Ben said he wanted a fireplace big enough to cook a wild boar,” says Mark Anderson of Anderson and Anderson.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  Metal buckets of wooden spoons on the counter don’t amount to visual chaos; rather, they’re evidence of a hands-on existence.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    Metal buckets of wooden spoons on the counter don’t amount to visual chaos; rather, they’re evidence of a hands-on existence.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  The family needed space not just for cooking, which they do a lot of, but for massive kitchen projects like making wine from their homegrown grapes and oil from their olive trees.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    The family needed space not just for cooking, which they do a lot of, but for massive kitchen projects like making wine from their homegrown grapes and oil from their olive trees.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  "The Andersons did a very good job of creating spaces that are completely accessible to all our family and friends,” says Naomi. "This house is so well designed that its accessibility is sometimes overlooked.”  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    "The Andersons did a very good job of creating spaces that are completely accessible to all our family and friends,” says Naomi. "This house is so well designed that its accessibility is sometimes overlooked.”

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  Many of the culinary craft projects are an extension of Ben’s work as an artist and dealer of antiquarian books about food and wine.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    Many of the culinary craft projects are an extension of Ben’s work as an artist and dealer of antiquarian books about food and wine.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  The material of choice for the loft-cum-farmhouse was concrete, for which the Andersons devised a prefab strategy. A series of identical C-shaped modules from the same formwork compose the structural system, which sits on a continuous slab foundation.  Photo by: Dave Lauridsen
    The material of choice for the loft-cum-farmhouse was concrete, for which the Andersons devised a prefab strategy. A series of identical C-shaped modules from the same formwork compose the structural system, which sits on a continuous slab foundation.

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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