Working together since 1994, Paula and Robert have developed the EcoNest home concept. They are co-authors of two books: EcoNest: Creating Sustainable Sanctuaries of Clay, Straw and Timber, published by Gibbs Smith, 2005; and The EcoNest Home: Designing & Building A Light Straw Clay House, published by New Society Publishers. EcoNest projects have been built throughout North America and featured in several books including Designing your Natural Home by David Pearson, Green by Design by Angela Dean, Sustainable Residential Interiors by Associates III, and Space Matters by Katherine Cox as well as nationally published magazines including Natural Home, Fine Homebuilding, Residential Architect, Organic Style Magazine, Yoga Journal, Inspired House and Ultimate Home. Robert and Paula are currently based in Ashland, Oregon.
Robert is a recognized natural building pioneer, teacher and author. He is a leading expert in earth, clay/straw and timber frame construction. Robert has been designing and building natural homes for the past thirty years in Canada and the United States and has lead more than 1,500 students in over 100 workshops in 6 countries. Since researching natural building in Europe in 1990 he has become a leading proponent of light clay construction and his innovative development of an energy-efficient straw clay enclosure system has set the standard for light clay construction in North America.
Paula Baker-Laporte, FAIA
Hailed by Natural Home Magazine in 2005 as one of the top 10 green architects in the U.S., Paula leads the EcoNest design team. Paula graduated from the University of Toronto, School of Architecture in 1978 and from The International Institute of Bau-Biologie and Ecology in 1995. In 2007, she was elected into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. She headed a wide-ranging architectural practice based in Santa Fe, New Mexico since 1986. Since 1992, Paula has dedicated her practice to the precepts of environmentally sound and health enhancing architecture and her firm continues to lead in the fields of healthy and natural design and design and consultation for the chemically sensitive. She has been the principal architect at EcoNest Architecture in Ashland, Oregon since 2010.
Paula has lectured, taught and published extensively on the topic of healthy and ecological design. She is currently developing and teaching courses for the International Institute of Bau-biologie and Ecology. She is the primary author of Prescriptions for a Healthy House. She is a contributing author to several books.
Learn more about Paula’s Design and Consulting Work at her EcoNest Architecture website.