In the ’60s, using only materials found on their 400-acre plot of forest in Mendocino County, Charles Bello and his wife built a sustainable ranch—including an undulating glass house.

In the late 1960s, architect Charles Bello and his wife Vanna Rae purchased 400 acres of redwood forest in Northern California and slowly but surely began building 18 structures on the plot (and raising a family to boot).  

84-year-old Charles Bello left the world of California modernism in the 1960s to embark on his own nature-inspired, architectural journey among hundreds of acres of redwoods in Northern California.

84-year-old Charles Bello left the world of California modernism in the 1960s to embark on his own nature-inspired, architectural journey among hundreds of acres of redwoods in Northern California.

Photo: Andrew Hall

Among the buildings they constructed are the Parabolic Glass House and a small sculpture pavilion, two structures that evolved organically from their site. 

As Bello describes in a recent video by ThirtyThousand, the concept of the Parabolic Glass House was straightforward, and only took about 20 seconds to crystalize: the openings of the house begin where a nearby line of trees hit the sky, and then arch up in a parabolic shape to frame the view in front of them. The shape of the home arose from the site itself.

The wood for the home was harvested and dressed from Bello's property.

The wood for the home was harvested and dressed from Bello’s property.

Courtesy of Andrew Birchett

The columns and flooring were also harvested from local trees.

The columns and flooring were also harvested from local trees.

Courtesy of Andrew Birchett

See the full story on Dwell.com: The Parabolic Glass House in Northern California Is One Architect’s Utopia in the Redwoods

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