Ever more progress around the Green BarnHouse designed by Alchemy near Blair, WI. The clients are great about sending us updates that I can share with you all. It's amazing to watch the progress, even during crazy snowfalls.
Alchemy Architects Brings Color and Charm to a Big Box Condo Creating an Artistic Oasis at the 918 Lofts Building
Alchemy Architects, the award-winning St. Paul architecture firm best known for the weeHouse and its “tightwad panache,” has renovated a bland, 2000 square foot, boxy loft-style condominium into an oasis of habitable hues and selective spaces for its international owner.
Following Alchemy’s forward-thinking design and (often) typical disregard for convention, the master bedroom has been placed in the smallest room in the Loft, bringing whimsy into an otherwise austere space. At 8.5' x 11' the room is just big enough to center a queen-sized bed. A textured curtain that wraps the room provides softness, acoustical separation, and the illusion of layered space—like being on stage in one's own play. Hanging above the bed is an old-tech skeleton coil remnant—now a newborn chandelier. This piece is a variant of Bedspring Chandelier, a design by Alchemy Architects principle Geoffrey Warner, originally shown at the Weisman Art Museum in 2006.
The master bathroom features Bryan Carpenter's off-the-shelf rigging hooks for towels and a black iron C-clamp repurposed as a toilet paper holder (yes, Virginia, it really works). Carpenter served as the Project Manager on the project. These hearty, industrial fixtures juxtaposed next to a luxurious steam shower and custom bath cabinets show that modern design and contemporary details need not be uptight.
Together, Warner and Carpenter developed a floor plan with strong anchors by showcasing a fire-engine red, entertaining-ready IKEA kitchen. Scott McGlasson of Woodsport created a counter/table top using ash boards stained black that provide an elegant contrast to the cabinet’s sleek surface. A pair of mylar “feather” overhead lamps and a soaring Artemide fixture light the entrance corridor and kitchen in the spirit of Brancusi's elegant sculpture Bird in Space. A ruddy, South American wood floor is elevated to serve as leisure area, dance floor, or simply a stage for contemporary art installed right outside the bedroom. A nook for studying is also elevated just inside the front door. Sculptured timbers serve as graceful, yet functional steps allowing passage to these upper areas.
Alchemy started the schematic design of the space by defining a simple pallet of color and materials for the space: golds, warm browns, blacks, deep reds, and adding textures that melded rustic with simple and sleek: shiny red kitchen cabinets warmed with exotic wood and composite countertops. Being “green-thinking” comes naturally for Alchemy, as the theme of reuse/reduce/recycle appears in the use of cast off timbers for stairs and hot-rolled steel for doors and fireplace surround. Industrial materials are partnered with natural and rustic materials to temper the raw open space.
The space boasts corner wrap windows that look out onto the North Loop Warehouse District, just outside of downtown Minneapolis, allowing natural light to play effortlessly throughout the various rooms. The now-distinctive environment embraces the client's taste for eclectic and extraordinary details while being a welcoming place for friends and a home-away-from-home for the owner.
Architecture and Design: Bryan Carpenter and Geoffrey Warner, AIA
General Contractor: Kurt Albrecht, Owner, KA Construction, Grand Rapids, MN
Various Woodwork: Scott McGlasson, Owner, Woodsport, woodsport.net
- Barn siding with light filtering through
- Few, but large openings
- A sleeping loft and bedrooms in the cellar
- And, of course, Barn Space: an open 2-story room with two volumes inserted within. One in steel, the other in ash strips, they provide under-and over spaces like a hayloft (without the smell).
You are welcome to see-this-wee at its current location in Siren, WI (see www.weehouse.com for more details).
Perfect for an artist retreat, guest/bunk house, yoga studio ... Ready? Set. Whee!
exterior dimensions = 27'L x 12'W x 10'H (324 SF)
studio may sit on permanent or temporary foundation
custom steel base frame includes fork lift pockets and casters (use of casters is optional)
IKEA kitchen wall that is plumbing-ready
Summit under counter, stainless steel refrigerators (2)
natural bamboo floor, walls, and ceiling
Andersen sliding glass doors (screens provided on 2 of 6; locking)
electrical wiring set-up for standard 110 V generator or plug-in, multiple outlets, “live” tracks on ceiling for spot lighting, recessed lighting throughout
fully insulated walls, weather-tight EPDM rubber roof
includes the custom cedar decking with ramp and entry stair step (ships separately from house)
shipping and set to be paid by buyer (approximately $7/mi from Siren, WI + $1000. ‘set’ fees)
weight = approximately 16,000 pounds
may not be shipped overseas due to ocean freight restrictions
comes with heavy-duty custom tarp cover for storage, and crate for casters
interior furniture not included in price, but available for sale
price includes 4 hours of Alchemy’s innovative design and expertise to help with foundation or interior plans ($500+ value)
contact Alchemy Architects, St. Paul, MN
additional photos located on www.weeHouse.com
David Ong, DDS, owner of Silver Lake Smiles in New Brighton, MN now practices in a relaxing and calming, yet clever and state-of-the-art clinic that reflects his practice's mission: precision and innovation that is still sensitive to patients' needs for comfort and reassurance.
"Alchemy understood from the beginning that they needed to create a sophisticated yet playful space and integrate a sense of privacy for my clients," states Dr. Ong. "They respected my timeline, budget, and concerns--feedback from patients has been great!"
Starting with a blank slate of 1,120 SF of retail space in a suburban commercial center, Designer and Project Manager Bryan Carpenter developed an efficient floor plan that manages to be whimsical and theatrical. Color and texture palettes incorporate natural materials including bamboo, cotton, and walnut along with sound absorbing surfaces. The result is a calm, interesting, and inviting environment for patients at Silver Lake Smiles.
The office is organized by a hallway of light; a sculpture that Carpenter created from multiple translucent fiberglass panels separates the treatment area from the reception area. Full-length gold velvet stage curtains create a private lounge area and graciously surround the functional utility alcoves.
Complementing materials are used throughout the space. Removing the suspended ceiling tiles, replacing them with a patchwork of inexpensive rolled up roman blinds, and adding skylights above creates a space worth looking up to. Alchemy worked with Scott McGlasson of Woodsport to manipulate standard IKEA cabinets for a high-finish look. Off-the-shelf tool carts, glove dispensers created from stainless tissue holders, and whimsical toy highlights also help to distinguish this clinic, while adhering to a strict budget.
The once nondescript commercial space has been transformed into a contemporary dental clinic that is both cutting-edge and comfortable. Open wide and say 'ahhhhhhhhhh . . . cool!'
Wow! The most requested weeHouse style is up for sale ...
here's your chance for not only a weeHouse, but a custom weeHouse with fantastic interior detailing by noted craftsman, Scott McGlasson. Check out that sauna (grey building)!
If you happen to be in Minnie this weekend and need a lil' sumpin' sumpin' to do, check out our pal, Scott McGlasson and his work from Woodsport at the Mill City Farmer's Market. Woodsport has provided many of the 'haute' touches in our projects. Amazing, cool, and well, local ... so support it if you can! Plus, you get a great view of the Guthrie and the Mississippi. Perfect!
Alchemy Architects is pleased to announce that the
Saturn weeHouse has landed in Siren, Wisconsin!
General Motors has graciously returned the Saturn weeHouse to its midwest roots for the summer. This weeStudio offers many weeHouse standard features including the IKEA kitchen, Kohler fixtures, Andersen 200 series Perma-Shield windows and bamboo flooring.
It's great to have a model here in the Midwest. The weeHouses we typically build are not, of course, this wee! And they usually have a bathroom and working kitchen. But, this is an opportunity to experience the space, the floor to ceiling windows, see an example of the IKEA wall kitchen, and understand how we work with bamboo on the walls as well as the floor.
A bit more 'wee' than typically ordered, it's still a great way to get an understanding of Alchemy's fabulous prefab in the beautiful lakes region of Wisconsin. weeHouses make great cabins, too!
Betsy will be in Siren on Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23, 2009 to answer questions. The Saturn weeHouse will remain on display as a model through at least August 2009. Questions may be directed to Betsy at email@example.com. For directions, see www.honhomes.com.
Throughout the summer you'll be able to talk with a modular home expert with years of experience in financing, general contracting, and building in the lakes region. Hosted by Heart of the North Homes, weeHouse clients in Wisconsin's Lake Country can now coordinate site work, weeHouse design + build and all contracting finish work in one stop.
Call Al Glorvigen in Siren at 715-349-8800 for more details
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hours are Tuesdays-Saturdays 10-4, and by appointment.
Over Easter weekend, Alchemist B journeyed from Minne to ChiIl(y) and made a 2nd stop at the Smart Home on display at the Museum of Science and Industry. I had been down there while it was being 'set' ... and was very glad to see the final product.
- where all the hot air goes
- how water is recirculated
- how one room is particularly youngster friendly
- why a green roof makes sense
- how design creates spaces that work efficiently
Alchemy took a road trip "up North" (that's Minnesota-talk for 'to the Lake') to Siren, WI and Heart of the North Quality Built Homes. Heart of the North sells modular homes through two companies right now and is hoping to be the liaison to Alchemy Architects for weeHouses built near Burnett County, WI. Here are pictures from the visit. They include the location (just north of Siren on Hiway 70 and a shot of Al Glorvigen, Owner of HoN Homes (working with two clients, one of whom lost her home in the Gunflint Trail fire last year ... very sad).
April 14, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RAVE Awards Acknowledge Residential
Architects’ Vision & Excellence
Minneapolis, Minnesota – Nine residential architecture
projects by Minnesota architects have been selected
for this year’s Residential Architects Vision and
Excellence (RAVE) Awards. The RAVE program, in its
sixth year, was created by AIA Minnesota and
Mpls.St.Paul Magazine to recognize excellence in
residential design and raise awareness of the benefits
of using an architect. Forty-nine submissions were
entered in different categories including new and
remodeled homes, large and small sizes and budgets.
The jury was comprised of Charles Liddy, AIA, Miller
Dunwiddie Architects; Phillip Koski, AIA, Leo A. Daly; Martha Yunker, AIA, Yunker & Associates,
and Shawn Gilliam, editor, Home Magazine.
won in the Addition/Remodel Over 800SF catagory
Geoffrey Warner, AIA
We're pleased to accept one of the twelve AIA-MN 2009/2010 Home of the Month awards chosen last week by a distinguished jury of peers. The Goodrich Bungalow Renovation was recently completed after the addition of its front entry porch. We have the exterior before and after photos as well as the backyard and its twin peaks garages! Landscaping by Phillips Garden, Minneapolis and owners. Interior photos copyright Karen Melvin Photography.
The house’s “shell” is respectful of its 1911 origins while “objects”
are inserted as contemporary additions
Interior “pathway elements” create an axial organizing arrangement
- Flexible floor plan for family of 4 with 2 grade school children
- Phase renovations over a period of 7 years to fit with the owners’ budget
- Create a working kitchen for daily cooking and frequent entertaining
- Create an urban garden retreat
- Energy efficiency
- Spray-in Icynene foam insulation
- Energy efficient Andersen windows, doors and updated storm doors including self-modulating sky lights
- In-floor hydronic heat combined with flat-panel radiators controlled by automatic thermostat
- Natural ventilation core
- Salvaged + typically industrial objects and materials used including doors, hardware, parachute, metals and lumber
- IKEA kitchen, customized, with sanded glass island and FireSlate counter tops
- Polygal greenhouse plastic, random-orbit sanded
- Tech lighting low-voltage fixtures
- Galvanized and cold-rolled perforated steel railings