Shenoa Cottage   Philo, CA  

Shortly after learning about straw bale construction from Matts Myhrman and Judy Knox, I was extremely fortunate to meet Carolyn North, a client with the vision and courage to commission the first load-bearing straw bale building in a seismic region to obtain a building permit (and only the second permitted building in the state). She can be reached at

This cottage is actually a duplex shared by two families, one in each wing, sharing a common kitchen where the wings join. Both wings are quite compact, but feel spacious, with bed lofts atop bathrooms overlooking skylit living rooms.

The tremendous attention this early building of the straw bale revival gathered (it was featured in Fine Homebuilding and Sunset magazines), quickly shifted my client base to the conscientious and adventurous people drawn to traditional building languages and ecological technologies.

Interior photograph of Shenoa Cottage
Interior photograph of Shenoa Cottage
Also available: Exterior photograph of Shenoa Cottage.
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