It Was an Abandoned, Barely Built Mansion. They Made It a Real Home

Embracing the idea of a modern ruin, a Northern California couple carve a house out of the incomplete concrete garage and basement of a would-be manse.
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When Deborah Oropallo and Michael Goldin began plotting a move from Berkeley, California, to a more bucolic setting in the late aughts, they envisioned open land, a place for Deborah’s art studio and Michael’s design and fabrication shop, and an opportunity to grow and raise their own food. Veterans of two repurposed mixed-used city spaces—a machine shop and a brass foundry—the couple and their two kids were itching for country life.

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