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#1 Charles Cudd DeNovo Architects & Builders

Home 1
Photo By Jason Kruell

Charles Cudd DeNovo
Architects & Builders

James McNeal, AIA

18205 Breezy Point Road
Woodland, MN 55391
DIRECTIONS: From I-394 west, continue on US 12 west, before exiting on County Road 101 S./Wayzata, which merges with Bushaway Road. Continue on Cty Rd 101 S. 1.9 miles. Take Breezy Point Road straight ahead 0.4 miles; destination is on the left.

The homeowners wanted to bring to Minnesota a bit of the architectural flavor that has inspired their lives from their travels to Africa, and create a new style home with modern and African safari lifestyle influences. The exterior, with three million pounds of stone on and surrounding the structure, gives the house a sense of utter permanence. Instead of setting the home on top of the hill, the home is carefully integrated into the hillside. The interiors are highly sculptural, open, and flowing with African safari-inspired details. Artisans were hired to execute the original African sculptural work, designed into the home by McNeal. The house—in the end—tells a story about the homeowners and Africa. What became manifest was an African safari story book-style home.

 #2 CityDeskStudio

Home 2
Rendering by Bob Ganser


Bob Ganser, AIA
Christian Dean, AIA
Ben Awes, AIA

13001 Brenwood Trail
Minnetonka, MN 55343
DIRECTIONS: Take I-394 to I-494 south. Take exit 16A to merge onto MN-7 E. Take Baker Road/County Road 60 south. Take the third left (east) on Brenwood Trail, destination is on the right.

The homeowners of this 1984 suburban home were looking for a very modern addition to create an open, flowing main floor living space connecting their enclosed and separate living and dining areas to their existing vaulted living room. Floor to ceiling windows, skylights, and cable rails emphasize unobstructed views and access to natural daylight. The home features a new front entry foreshadowing a new rear expansion, complete with a renovated kitchen, mudroom, laundry room, and master bath.

The design orientation highlights a compelling treetop view to the southeast at the back of the house.

 #3 Meriwether Inc.

Home 3
Photo by Susan Gilmore

Meriwether Inc.

Meriwether Felt, AIA

4234 Scott Terrace
Edina, MN 55416
DIRECTIONS: Take Highway 100 to the Excelsior Boulevard exit, head east onto Excelsior Boulevard. Take the first right (south) onto Wooddale Avenue S. 0.6 miles. Turn left (east) onto Morningside Road 0.5 miles. Turn left (north) onto Scott Terrace. Destination is on the left.

Parisian hotels were the inspiration for this addition, and the charge was to make this space as elegant as the rest of the home. A gardener’s dream, the space had been lovingly renovated in the past, but lacked a main floor potting area and powder room. The potting area is not only used for seed starting, but also outdoor dining, dog washing, and as a pool changing room. In the future, it could be converted into a main floor bath. The living and dining rooms were remodeled on the main floor, providing a seamless flow throughout the space. The lower level, light-filled laundry opens onto the pool deck.

 #4 Alchemy Architects

Home 4
Photo by Ron Crofoot

Alchemy Architects

Geoffrey Warner, AIA
Scott Ervin

4221 Ewing Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
DIRECTIONS: Take Highway 100 to the Excelsior Boulevard exit, head east onto Excelsior Boulevard 0.3 miles. Turn right (south) onto Quentin Avenue. Turn left (east) onto West 42nd Street 0.7 miles. Turn right (south) onto Ewing Ave S. Destination is on the left.

The Linden Hills weeHouse is the home to the director of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and her architect-professor husband, and houses not only them, but also their extensive art collection. The house has received significant national press for a design that celebrates the modular process and challenges of the “monster house” phenomenon, while blending into the residential fabric of the neighborhood. At less than $140 per square foot, the prefabricated four-box layout allowed the spacious house to be completed on-site within only eight weeks, greatly reducing both the time and costs associated with typical high-end custom architecture.

 #5 Nguyen Architects, Inc.

Home 5
Photos courtesy of Nguyen Architects

Nguyen Architects, Inc.

Tan Nguyen, AIA

1485 Skyline Drive
Golden Valley, MN 55422
DIRECTIONS: Take Highway 100 north to Duluth Street east 0.9 miles. Duluth Street becomes Golden Valley Road. Turn right (south) onto Hidden Lakes Parkway and merge to the left at the fork/roundabout. Go up the hill one block to the T-intersection and turn right (north) onto Skyline Drive (a dead end). Try to park further away, before the dead-end and walk. Destination is on the left.

With busy lives and schedules, these married doctors wanted a modern and clean home renovation that would serve as a counterpoint to their hectic work environment. Featuring crisp lines and open spaces, the work included a new kitchen and living room on the main level, a new master suite upstairs, and workout and game room area in the basement. The kitchen is highlighted by LED backlit glass back splashes that illuminate the countertops and work area. The living area is focused around a horizontal fireplace with glowing crystals and an undulating black granite wall. The master bath is a light-filled serene space with minimal details. The over all composition is warm and tactile with a contemporary feel.

#6 Choice Wood Company

Home 6
Photo by Andrea Rugg Photography

Choice Wood Company

Leffert Tigelaar, AIA

2400 Oliver Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55405
DIRECTIONS: Take I-94 to the Lyndale Avenue/Hennepin Avenue exit and follow signs for Hennepin Avenue S. Turn west onto Franklin Avenue. Turn left (south) onto West Lake of the the Isles Parkway. Turn right (west) onto Oliver Place S., continue past Newton Avenue to Oliver Ave S. Destination is the first house on the left. Parking available on West Lake of the Isles Parkway.

This home, located in the Kenwood neighborhood just west of Lake of the Isles in South Minneapolis, features oversized rooms, large windows, and a great southern exposure, factors that convinced a family of five to move here from a smaller home, just three doors down the street. The family had a keen interest in energy efficiency, a sustainable material palette, and healthy house principles. The finished project includes an addition and whole house remodeling, and demonstrates that green building principles—such as geothermal heating and cooling and using locally-sourced and sustainable materials—are compatible with the charm of fine details and traditional, but also innovative, architecture.

 #7 Kuhl Design + Build

Home 7
Photo by Troy Gustafson

Kuhl Design + Build

Ashley Mitlyng, AIA

1015 West Minnehaha Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55419
DIRECTIONS: From downtown Minneapolis, take I-35W south to exit 12 toward Diamond Lake Road. Turn right (west) onto East Diamond Lake Road. Diamond Lake Road becomes West 54th Street. Turn right (north) onto Dupont Avenue S. Turn right (east) onto West Minnehaha Parkway. Destination is on the right.

This whimsical Tudor house sits facing the beautiful landscape of Minnehaha Creek. With amazing views and curb appeal, the front of the house got all the attention, leaving the back thoughtless and underutilized. An inefficiently designed kitchen was separated from the rest of the main level, making it difficult to entertain or watch the kids while preparing dinner. Replacing the unused porch with a family-friendly, entertainment-worthy kitchen and adjacent family room solved these problems. The remodeling of the remaining space added a mudroom and powder room. The second story portion of the addition includes an expanded master bath, closet space, and laundry.

#8 Albertsson Hansen Architecture, Ltd.

Home 8
Photo by Adan Torres

Albertsson Hansen Architecture, Ltd.
612 823 0233

Todd Hansen, AIA

330 West Elmwood Place
Minneapolis, MN 55419
DIRECTIONS: Take I-35W south to exit 13 toward 46th Street. Turn west onto East 46th Street. Turn south (left) onto Nicollet Avenue. Turn right (west) onto West Elmwood Place. Destination is on the right.

This project is a great example of how traditional design, combined with a modern sensibility, can reframe the feel of an entire house and allow for a more flexible way of living in an older, urban home. A small addition on the north side of the home paid huge dividends in modifying circulation and allowing for a new kitchen/eating/sitting area. Family and friends can now gather in the open kitchen or sit comfortably in one of the built-in seating spaces. Two bathrooms on the second floor were also reconfigured, and a laundry room was tucked into the hall leading into the bathroom.

#9 SALA Architects, Inc.

Home 9
Photo courtesy of SALA Architects

SALA Architects, Inc.
Mpls: 612-379-3037
Stillwater: 651-351-0961

Eric Odor, AIA

308 5th Street Northeast
Minneapolis, MN 55413
DIRECTIONS: Take I-35W to the 4th Street SE/University Avenue exit. Turn right (northwest) onto 4th Street SE. Go 0.7 miles and turn right (northeast) onto Central Avenue SE. Turn left (northwest) onto 5th Street NE. Destination is on the left.

Mary and Mark always intended to remodel their home. They bought the house because they loved the Northeast neighborhood and the home’s proximity to the park across the street, and the fact that Northeast businesses were just a bridge away over the railroad tracks. This is a great example of how to transform a typical compartmentalized split-level tract home into a modern home of openness and spatial wonder: new kitchen, new baths, new windows (you won’t believe the windows), new everything. See how to invest in YOUR neighborhood!

#10 McMonigal Architects, LLC

Home 10
photo by Page Photography

McMonigal Architects, LLC

Rosemary McMonigal, AIA

1601 East River Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55414
DIRECTIONS: Take I-94 to MN-280 toward University Avenue. Keep right at the fork and merge onto Cromwell Avenue. Go 0.1 miles and turn left (west) at Franklin Avenue. Continue 1 mile and take a sharp turn left (southeast) onto East River Parkway. Destination is on the left.

Built in 1924, this colonial home overlooks the Mississippi River valley along the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. After considering a move, the owners decided to stay and expand the existing house to better suit their current lifestyle and family needs by creating more family living and multi-purpose space on the main floor, and adding a laundry and owner’s suite above. The new architecture is tailored to the colonial style of the existing house. Thoughtful placement of the addition, room proportions, column details, panels, trim and window patterns complement the original style of the home.

#11 Charles R. Stinson Architects

Home 11
Rendering courtesy of
Charles Stinson Architects

Charles R. Stinson Architects

Charles Stinson, AIA

4524 Edmund Boulevard
Minneapolis, MN 55406
DIRECTIONS: Take I-94 to MN-55E/Hiawatha Avenue. Travel 3.5 miles and turn left (east) onto East 46th Street. Continue 0.5 miles onto East 46th Street, which becomes Edmund Boulevard. Destination is on the left.

In a remarkable and inspiring process of co-creation, this urban home was a collaboration between husband and wife, the wife’s brother Charles R. Stinson, and her nephew Jason of Stinson Builders, Inc. The result is a simple and dramatic architectural expression that artistically balances all the complexities of the site, structure, an array of sustainable strategies, and the dreams of the homeowners. The retired couple loved the idea of having a custom-designed home with an open layout and a sanctuary-like pool area for entertaining family and friends. This home is registered in the Minnesota Green Path Program with features such as solar panels, water cisterns, and many recyclable materials.

#12 David Heide Design Studio

Home 12
Rendering Courtesy of
David Heide Design Studio

David Heide Design Studio

Mark Nelson, AIA
David Heide, Assoc. AIA

2303 Folwell Avenue
Falcon Heights, MN 55108
DIRECTIONS: Take I-94 to MN-280. Go 1.9 miles (north) and take the Larpenteur Avenue exit and turn right (east) onto Larpenteur Avenue W. Travel 0.6 miles and turn right (south) onto Coffman Street. Turn right (west) onto Folwell Avenue. Destination is on the right.

This modern home, the first new construction in University Grove in 20 years, rose from the ashes, literally. The Tudor that had been on this site since 1931 burned to the ground a month before the new owners were to move in. Faced with starting over, they opted for something completely different: a sleek, minimalist design of interlocking cubes. From the exterior, the house reveals itself in layers: the walkway to the front door, the courtyard surrounded by dry-stacked stone, the walls of glass, and, finally, the green space beyond.

Sustainable as well as beautiful, the house boasts a green roof, energy-efficient systems, radiant heat in the floors, and locally produced materials.

#13 Building Arts Sustainable Architecture + Construction

Home 13
Photo by Scott Jacobson Studio

Building Arts Sustainable
Architecture + Construction

Harvey Sherman, AIA

95 Mackubin Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
DIRECTIONS: Take I-94 to the Dale Street exit. Turn south on Dale Street. Turn left (east) on Ashland Avenue. Turn right (south) onto Mackubin Street. Destination is on the right.

Faced with the dilemma of no off-street parking, the homeowner purchased this house (immediately to the north of the one in which he was living) in order to create a shared driveway and garage. He was then faced with what to do with a well constructed—although quite rundown and dysfunctional—1885 Victorian. He decided to embark on a total remodel with the goal of making it the greenest remodel ever done in the Twin Cities. Approximately 90 percent of deconstructed material was reused or recycled, geothermal heating and cooling was installed, and the exterior was restored to comply with HPC guidelines. The home now has a home energy rating of 53.

#14 Charles R. Stinson Architects

Home 14
Photo by Paul Crosby

Charles R. Stinson Architects

Charles Stinson, AIA

7793 Quadrant Avenue South
Hastings, MN 55033
DIRECTIONS: Take I-94 to exit 253, take a right onto MN-95 S/Manning Avenue S. for 6.9 miles, turn left (east) onto 70th Street S. for 3.2 miles, turn right (south) onto County Road 21/St. Croix Trail S. for 0.9 miles, turn left (east) onto 80th Street S. for 0.8 miles, take the second left onto Quadrant Avenue S. Destination is on the right.

The homeowners built a beautiful pool on a piece of wooded, secluded property, with the lot sloping down to the St. Croix River Bluffs, yet felt the existing home wasn’t taking full advantage of the dramatic views and natural sunlight. Charles Stinson and his team developed a cohesive architectural plan for the site, including a soaring new home perched above the existing pool and a bluff-top art studio on the footprint of the original cabin built on the site. The result is a timeless composition in harmony with the natural surroundings, abundant with light, and a seamless indoor-outdoor flow of space.

#15 SALA Architects, Inc.

Home 15
Photo by George Heinrich

SALA Architects, Inc.
Mpls: 612-379-3037
Stillwater: 651-351-0961

Wayne Branum, AIA

449 Valley View Road
Roberts, WI 54023
DIRECTIONS: Take I-94 east to Wisconsin. Take exit 10 for WI-65 toward New Richmond/Roberts. Turn right (south) onto WI-65 S. and travel 2.4 miles. Turn right (west) onto Coulee Trail for 04. miles. Turn right (north) onto Valley View Road. Destination is on the right.

A few miles east of the St. Croix River Valley, this home is sited at the edge of an open field atop a wooded hillside. The woods provide a sheltering exterior enclosure to the southwest, complemented by a higher tower view of the hilltop and panorama of the agricultural valley below.

The building’s architecture expresses basic agrarian vernacular forms in contemporary ways. As with traditional farm structures, the orientation to the sun, simple basic materials, and methods of construction contribute to efficient modern use and purpose.

#16 SALA Architects, Inc.

Home 16
Photo by Troy Thies Photography

SALA Architects, Inc.
Mpls: 612-379-3037, Stillwater: 651-351-0961,

Marc Sloot, AIA

N4324 410th Street
Ellsworth, WI 54011
DIRECTIONS: Take Highway 94E through Hudson, Wis. to Highway 35 (exit #3/also Highway 65). Follow Highway 65 into downtown Ellsworth. Take a left at the lights onto Highway 10, continue on 10 until you hit 400th Street. Take a left on 400th, then take a left on 410th street. Destination is on the left.

The Holly Ridge Farmhouse looks like it belongs right were it is—peaceful and natural. It is picturesque and practical, calming and invigorating. Tailored to the farm site, the home takes advantage of great vistas. It is the perfect home for a small family, empty nesters, or as the meeting space for large groups of family and friends. Built to a higher standard—healthy, durable, and sensitive to the local and global eco system— the home has earned the Wisconsin Green Built Home certification.


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