A net-zero home. Multi-generational living. Prairie and lakeside retreats.
If you want to see the latest trends in home design and architect-designed projects, then the Homes by Architects Tour is just the ticket.
Local architects and their homeowner clients will roll out the welcome mat for a self-guided tour Sept. 23-24 and a virtual one Sept. 23-Oct. 8. The tour will feature remodeled and new homes in a range sizes, styles and budgets. This year, 10 homes across the metro area will be available for in-person visits, while four more throughout the state can be toured virtually.
Sheri Hansen of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Minnesota, which hosts the tour, said this year's lineup includes a wider geographic swath. "We have virtual homes this year [that allow us] to cover huge areas of Minnesota that aren't usually covered, that includes lakefront and Northwoods homes," she said.
Hansen added that tourgoers will find an increased emphasis on educating the public about ways to design with the environment in mind.
"I think architects have always been sensitive to the site and environmental impact, but it seems like more and more homeowners are clamoring for it, so they're highlighting it and telling us more about it in their projects," she said. "The result is still these architecturally beautiful homes, but with a reduced impact on the site overall."
For more information on the tour, visit homesbyarchitects.org/tourhomes. Here's a quick look at the featured houses:
When a pair of architects/homeowners found an open lot on Lake of the Isles, they decided to build. They balanced their contemporary tastes with the historic nature of the neighborhood and came up with a U-shaped, lime-washed brick house. The home is oriented so that main living spaces face south to maximize lake views and natural light. The Analog House is not just a clever name: The architects designed the house without using computers, instead hand-drafting construction drawings and creating physical models.
John Cook and Joan Soranno architects: John Cook, FAIA; Joan Soranno, FAIA; Travis Van Liere; Brit Erenler; Tony Staeger; Erik Hansen; Alex Miller; Adam Barnstorff.
A growing family sought a home that reflected their vibrant lifestyle while taking inspiration from a modern farmhouse recently completed by the architect. The result is a house with simple forms and a stark white-and-black exterior. In contrast, the interior is colorful and decorated with personal and whimsical mementos — including paintings of Freddie Mercury, which inspired the project's name. The Edina home, which includes four bedroom suites, also incorporates natural materials.
Swan Architecture: Andrea Peschel Swan, AIA.
Cypress & Bluestone
A father-daughter duo looked for a modern, properly scaled, efficient home on their steep-sloped Minneapolis lot. Both outdoor enthusiasts, they looked for a design that would promote their active lifestyles. As a result, spaces are designed to function efficiently. Clerestory windows and two-story stairways beam in natural light while mineral wool insulation reduces external noise from the street. Bluestone brick is showcased throughout the home, as is stucco, which adds warmth and a nod to the traditional stucco homes in the neighborhood. A cross-country ski wax room, storage area for rowing sculls and an exercise room are also part of the lineup.
Christopher Strom Architects: Christopher Strom, AIA; Eric Johnson, AIA; Rachel Alexander, Assoc. AIA; Brett Biwer, Assoc. AIA.
After a devastating fire destroyed their late 1800s Stillwater area home, the owners decided to rebuild with a smaller footprint while taking advantage of the rural setting overlooking a marsh. The design team created a compact design that maximizes everything from daylight to cross-ventilation. The mix of woods, metal and concrete along with a range of ceiling heights are honed to the homeowners' style. What's more, their self-described "quirky" collection of contemporary and antique furnishings feels right at home with the new home's modern-but-rustic vibe.
McMonigal Architects: Rosemary McMonigal, FAIA, LEED AP, CID; Kyle Thrapp, AIA; Nick Dellwo; Phil Hofstad.
Logan Modern Addition
Richfield homeowners sought a modern intervention that would expand their kitchen, improve the layout of the main level and add a den/guest room and bathroom. Their new addition — 8 feet by 30 feet with a full basement — nests into the existing house while doubling the size of the kitchen and creating a greater connection to the outdoors. The addition also adds height and natural light with clerestory windows and a green roof with skylights.
Ere Architecture: Edward R Eichten, AIA; Ryan Fagre, AIA; Rebeca Pena; Cody Peterson, Assoc. AIA.
Net Zero & Pond Perfect
When building this net-zero home, reducing the house's footprint while offering modern spaces with an open floor plan was top of mind. The architects scrapped the initial plans for a one-story and opted for a more compact two-story with a two-story dining and living area. Contemporary design touches include a kitchen with an oversized sink, a large island with a bamboo countertop and an industrial pantry. Views of a nearby pond are available from almost every room in the house as well as two large screen porches.
Sala Architects: Eric Odor, AIA; Alyssa Jagdfeld, CPHC.
Nokomis House & ADU
A growing family loved their south Minneapolis neighborhood near Lake Nokomis. So when a corner lot went up for sale, it was the perfect spot to take a multi-generational approach. A main house plus an accessory dwelling unit with a three-car garage below provides all the space the family needs — all while keeping to a scale similar to the rest of the neighborhood.
Nguyen Architects: Tan H. Nguyen, AIA; Agon Basha.
Situated in a restored prairie, this retreat home is designed to maximize the natural landscapes on a small lake just north of the Twin Cities. The house and barn are sited to create shared outdoor living spaces with lake views and paths leading into hilly forested land beyond. There's also a greenhouse and woodshop. The house is designed for high energy efficiency and thermal performance.
Albertsson Hansen Architecture: Christine Albertsson: AIA, CID, NCARB; Mark Tambornino AIA, CID, NCARB; Meg Lundquist, Assoc. AIA; Oliver Batzli; Sarah Hughes, Allied ASID.
River Bluff Modern
Built on a bluff on the Minnesota River, this new south metro build offers continuous vistas of the water while providing privacy from neighboring properties. Central to the design is a workhorse kitchen and indoor-outdoor living area. It also boasts a modern, sculptural staircase, one of many features that bring natural light into the home.
Rehkamp Larson Architects: Mark Larson, AIA; Corey Pederson.
Valdres at White Oaks Savanna
A Minnesota native who'd been living in Alaska as a geologist wanted to return to his roots and build a retirement home on the prairie. On his wish list was a modern home with a minimal "industrial zen" aesthetic, abundant natural light and spaces to display art. The home features clerestory and corner windows throughout, as well as trapezoidal windows in the living room and primary suite. Low-maintenance materials, innovative building techniques and refined uses for metal, glass and wood also make for a one-of-a-kind home.
Christopher Strom Architects: Christopher Strom, AIA; Elizabeth Akkerman, Assoc. AIA; Sydney Swift.
A new cabin on the Iron Range promotes the principles of yoga, inner peace and relaxation. A simple layout with an easy flow and built-ins allows for a decluttered space. Windows have been carefully placed to welcome the soaring lake views and natural surroundings. The materials — thermally modified wood, steel and concrete — draw inspiration from the property's natural resources. Aging-in-place features are incorporated into the design.
Kell Architects: Meghan Kell, AIA; Dan Wallace, AIA, CID.
A young and active family's former home-away-from-home — a cabin on an idyllic lake property in Cold Spring, Minn., — has been transformed into a year-round residence. The timber-construction home features a layout that accommodates both entertaining and private spaces. Standouts include an expansive lakeside screen porch that opens to the living area by way of a 12-foot-wide retracting door that doubles as a breezeway.
Shelter Architecture: Greg Elsner, AIA; Beth Halstenson, AIA; Jackie Colpaert, Allied ASID; Jennifer Wojtysiak, Assoc. AIA; David Jensen, Assoc. AIA.
An Artful Retreat
An Edina homeowner wanted to remodel her 1950s 1 1/2-story for her latest chapter in life — an empty nester running a law firm from a home office. She also wanted to showcase her extensive art collection. The architects devised a colorful, modern home. Highlights include a revised main floor that illuminates artwork and is whimsical in style, while a bump-out allows for a new full-story second floor.
Joy Architecture, Interior and Design: Joy Martin, AIA, LEED AP BD+C; Allison Landers; Laura Cayere-King, Assoc. AIA; Kayla Holzhauer.
Flower Valley Homestead
When an active empty-nester decided to move back into her childhood home in the Red Wing area, she sought cozy yet functional spaces for extended family stays and age-in-place living — all while maximizing views of the picturesque valley beyond. While the home is modest in size, built-in bunks, a communal kitchen design and a garage that can transform into a hangout space easily accommodate large gatherings. Personalized touches connect to the family's history, including milled trees from the property used for the fireplace mantel, kitchen island countertop and screen porch framing.
Shelter Architecture: Beth Halstenson, AIA; Jackie Colpaert, Allied ASID; Jen Wojtysiak, Assoc. AIA; Lisa Antenucci, Allied ASID; Kurt Gough, Assoc. AIA.