Gushing on Green

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. 

Michelle Kaufmann Designs (MKD) created a fabulous showcase highlighting the importance of green building ideas in an educational setting that is engaging and impressionable—let alone inspirational (super cool sponsors, interior design and gadgets!). It is realistic in size, and although I suppose not everyone who's building new will be able to incorporate *all* the great ideas, I think that everyone will be inspired to squeeze in as much as they can.

Inside and outside the views and details are outstanding. It's a great example of MSI's amazing mission, Chicago's ever-forward-thinking and MKD's contemporary architecture (that also happens to be prefab ... so, ya'know, weeLuvs it).

On the tour, my guide John had a very informative, jargon-free script to work with. (He himself was a great 'kid'!) There are ample engaging moments of explanations including:
  • 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

Five key principles as identified by MK:  Smart Design, Material Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency and a Healthy Environment are incorporated, clearly illustrated and annotated throughout the home. 

My 'group' was a mix of families, construction 'guys' and the just-curious. It made for some sassy conversations as people elevated their priorities in the form of comments like 'that sink doesn't have a stopper! that seems wasteful' and 'my kid would fall off this deck' and 'I would never leave the rooftop it's such a great view' and my favorite 'Mom: this is the coolest place you've ever made me go to!'. Hope for the future ... and a  slice of life, so-to-speak.

It'd be great to see interactive, illustrative, and darn-good-idea-generating architecture like this in many places ... so you can experience—not just gawk at pictures of—fresh ideas. On display through Jan. 3, 2010.

Up North

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). 

This partnership would merge the design experience of Alchemy Architects & the weeHouse with the project coordination (site prep, foundation, contractor, shipping, button-up work, local permits, etc.) expertise of Heart of the North. 

Let us know what you think about this, please. Thanks!

Bungalow Renovation takes a RAVE

Alchemy is pleased to announce we received a RAVE (Residential Architects' Vision and Excellence) Award in 2009! 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 copyrightKaren Melvin Photography.

April 14, 2009



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.

Bungalow Renovation

won in the Addition/Remodel Over 800SF catagory

Alchemy LLC

Geoffrey Warner, AIA