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Welcome to the
Laguna Beach
Straw House

The premiere, exclusive community
ecology & arts center in the making. 

Designed by Laguna Native, the architectural eco-visionary Kris Spitaleri, the one-of-a-kind structure is made out of reclaimed materials, locally sourced clay and the love and laughter of participants from all over the world.


About the Building in Progress

This old-world adobe building approach reminds us there was a time when the world moved at a slower pace, and each piece of material was considered precious. As the rate of consumption exceeds the rate of nature's ability to produce to keep up with demands, this form of sustainable building becomes invaluable. Especially when you consider that straw-bale constructions have proven to be 3x's more fire-resistant than other building methods.

The unorthodox zero-waste project serves as a slow motion eco-workshop that recognizes the inherent value of all of creation. Rejected materials are recycled, and "weeds" are recognized for their potent nutritional value - instead of poisoned! Our programs inspires people of all ages to get off of their phones, back into nature, while honing their creativity. 


"Gaining popularity in parts of California, straw-bale construction has proven to withstand wildfires, tornadoes, and earthquakes."  - Dakota Kim, Architectural Digest

Our Vision

Our plan is flexible - the needs of our neighbors comes first. What we propose is for the benefit of residents and select guests to enjoy.

The inspiring space could feature;

  • Art classes; painting, sculpting, woodworking, writing

  • Natural wellness seminars; movement, herbalism, meditation

  • Ecological education; gardening, permaculture, sustainability

Essentially - a place for exciting ideas, meaningful experiences, deepening skillsets and the bonds of our community. 

Our vision includes an edible & medicinal plant garden - and potentially - a small animal sanctuary of neighborhood-friendly creatures as part of OC's premiere animal rescue organization, Pacific Wildlife Project Emerald Sanctuary and featured installations from local artists.

Meet Kris 


Kris’ first architectural experience was building custom aviaries and enclosures for animals he cared for and rescued in his youth. Showing early aptitude, his parents, famous Laguna Beach philanthropists, Vernon & Cherry Spitaleri, encouraged his skills by asking him to design a cabin for the family. After an engineer signed off on the plans, Kris and his family built his design by hand. The stunning geodesic creation still stands in the mountains today!   

After earning his architectural degree from CalPoly SLO - he continued serving Laguna Beach as a designer, builder and renovator on local projects.

His building efforts restored hope to victims of the Yugoslav war. Kris voluntarily founded the Dawn Society which worked in partnership with the UN to bring relief to orphans, save the lives of refugees of war, and teach people to live in peace by helping opposing sides re-build each other's homes.

Additionally, he co-founded the Afghan Amity Society with Sadiq Tawfiq and others to bring relief and restoration to victims of war in Afghanistan. Kris designed a multi-functional school, housing, cultural arts, garden and ecology center to rebuild the region in a clean and sustainable way.

Now, Kris' attention is turned back home to his roots in Laguna, where he is offering his lifetime of knowledge and skill for the benefit of the community. Residents know, the Straw House has been a tremendous labor of love that was slowed by Kris making himself available for years of sleepless nights at the bedside of his parents until thier passing.

The Straw House is dedicated to Cherry & Vernon, in loving memory, and in continuation of their legacy.

And the Team!

The Straw House has attracted participants from all over the world - Ethiopia, Japan, France & beyond. 

When operational, there is a close circle of dozens of friends, neighbors, artisans, musicians and craftspeople who come together to share their talent for the greater
good and enrichment of the community.












We are seeking


We need to buy the land the building is on. We currently have 25% secured, and are seeking others who share our vision who can help us fund the project. 



The building is almost complete, and we just need a few more things! If you are connected with sustainably sourced construction materials, or have good material that would otherwise go to waste, please contact us.

Get in touch

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