Thank you to AIA-MN for two Honor Awards as announced at the 2010 MN-AIA annual convention for the Blair Barn House and the SPECS Optical Facade. We are thrilled to receive these, and to be in the company of our creative and talented peers.
Alchemy's goal was to build a modern design acceptable in a rural community where families have lived for generations. Priorities included:
- barn siding with filtered barn light
- few, but large, openings
- an open-and-under space in the main living area, reflecting the traditional barn hay loft space and granary floors
- a nod to farm technology
- respect of a farmer's common sense approach to the seasons and tasks
Together with clients and colleagues, Geoffrey Warner put together a program of creating a full-time house with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and adequate storage. Locally harvested 4/4 rough-sawn white oak creates a rainscreen as an exterior skin. Inside, the client (a furniture designer) wrapped walls with assorted salvaged hard woods that accentuate floating masses and passageways.The project is 2600 gross SF, with 1850 finished SF. It utilizes a geothermal heating system, passive solar/sun shading and the strategic placement of windows for reduced heat loss. A concrete thermal mass floor integrates infloor heat.
The warped west facade gives nod to the graceful, aging grey barn neighbor, and hosts great sliding porch doors. Inside, ropes and pulleys operate lights and doors. Outside, awnings of steel and cable provide for adjustable light infiltration.
This project was completely site built by Empire Development and Building in Onalaska, WI. Build costs ran approx. $360K (including geothermal).
Although the Moab weeHouse is planned to be a weeZero in the future, this is, for the record, Alchemy's first Net Zero weeHouse. And wee is thanking entrepreneurial and incredibly good-earth-minded clients for that. It's a perfect example of 'phasing in' your dream weeHouse. (The weeHouse was 'set' in Fall 2008.) The house is located near Albany, NY, so look-out-mother-nature ... wee'll be taking you on as you dish lots of snow and cold weather. In the winter months, the Griffith's enjoy warm floors from the in-floor heat system powered by a solar hot water collector on the roof, and when the sun's not shining they use an efficient wood burning fireplace to stay cozy.
With 2+ dozen or so weeHouses built to date, all of our clients are "early adopters" on the sociology scale, but when you're also a pioneer in creating 'the first' ... it's even more darn special. wee hopes you enjoy a very, very long sustainable, low impact lifestyle in high style. For more information about Net Zero weeHouses see www.weehouse.com.
weeHouse by Alchemy is pleased to be featured in MASTER/Plan, an exhibit held at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum on the campus of Rollins College, Orlando, FL. The exhibit also features ARTifacts by Geoffrey Warner. Warner will be attending the Opening (members and public) so please do come by if you're in the area.
Museum Contact Information: Cornell Fine Arts Museum, 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789-4499, 407.646.2526 (p), Tuesday - Friday: 10 AM - 4 PM, Saturday - Sunday: 12 - 5 PM, Closed Mondays
Two pictures of inspiration for the design of the Green Barn House, and two "it's almost done!" pictures from our client. We think it gives a nod to the great barns on the prairie while celebrating contemporary design. And the client loves it ... which is the most important. Interior shots forthcoming.
Excitement! The Williamsburg weeHouse is READY, and it's on the road. Scott Ervin, project manager is waiting ... and gave us a sneak peak at the awaiting foundation. Stay tuned for more 'set' pictures as the trucks arrive!
Spring! Siding is 1" rough sawn white oak, which is naturally weather-resistant, but has also been sealed with 2 coats of semi-transparent white stain. The oak was both an economical and sustainable choice, since it was locally harvested. Extremely durable, this will last a very long time due to the way that it is mounted to the building as a ventilated rain screen.
almost possible to see the 'house' within the house; better shot next time, we promise!
Picture perfect view.
Pre-roof, and pre-stain on the foundation.
Alchemy is pleased to have two homes, the award-winning Goodrich Bungalow and the recently completed NoLo Loft, on the Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour happening April 24-25, 2010.
On the Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour of “real homes, real people, real ideas,” residents open their doors to show creative and practical ideas for home additions, kitchens, bathrooms and more. Talk directly with homeowners and find out what it’s like. At many homes, their contractors, architects, and other trades people will also be on hand to answer questions. Fifty-three homes will be featured, 35 Minneapolis and 18 in Saint Paul.
Here’s how the Tour works:
Homes on the free, self-guided 2010 tour will be open Saturday, April 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, April 25, 1-5 p.m. It will be held April 24 & 25, 2010 regardless of weather conditions.
You can decide where to start by looking at the “Homes” page on this website, wwww.MSPHomeTour.com. Printed guides will be available in early April at libraries in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and suburban Hennepin and Ramsey counties.
The Minneapolis & St. Paul Home Tour is coordinated by Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) and the City of Saint Paul Planning and Economic Development department, with other corporate and non-profit sponsors. We encourage people to stay in the neighborhoods they love, and to maintain and improve the cities’ housing stock. For information, call 612-673-5103.
Scott Ervin, along with owners Geoff Warner and Dawn De Keyser will be available to speak with you at the Goodrich Bungalow. Betsy Gabler and Bryan Carpenter, along with Loft Owner Barbara Paz will be in the NoLo Loft. Please come visit us and take advantage of this free, and very fun and informational tour! See the Web site for addresses and hours.
Every day we field calls about financing the weeHouses, not just building them. With a couple dozen + under our belts, we are comfortable recommending a few lending sources (although we always suggest you work with your local bank/lender first). Here's a .pdf from one of the East Coast lending sources: American Home Bank, that I thought I'd share. Hope it's helpful!
We are pleased to continue our distinctive hands-on approach to architecture and design that combines a playful design process, collaborative relationships with clients, and partnerships with builders and fabricators to create a harmonious blend of site, building, and community. With sustainable practices as a mainstay of our daily work, Alchemy utilizes recycling and reuse along with building strategies that reduce waste. Our multidisciplinary team draws inspiration from art, literature, history, and leading creative thinkers to create alternative and atypical project solutions. Alchemy’s innovation on the weeHouse prefab system and “tightwad panache” renovations has gained recognition we are continuously humbled by and grateful for.
A wonderful chance to see the first rooftop weeHouse and get the green-skinny on landscape, gardening, and green living . . .
Please join Alchemy's ground-breaking (literally) clients as they celebrate twenty-five years of business.
Phillips Garden has been creating sustainable, contemporary landscapes in the Twin Cites since 1985. In 1999 they purchased and renovated a vacant and run down arts and crafts gas station on Cedar Avenue and created an award-winning studio space with a weeHouse on top!
To celebrate 25 years in business, they'll be hosting two free Open Studios on Saturday, April 10 and Saturday, April 24 from 11 am until 2 pm. These Open Studios are a great opportunity to bring your questions, photos and measurements to the designers and horticulturists at Phillips Garden to receive great advice for your home landscape. If you are considering a landscape project, this is a perfect way to test the waters and get some fresh ideas.
The Phillips Garden team of experts in horticulture and design has over 75 years of collective experience. Half-hour bookings will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call ahead to get on the schedule. Walk-in clients will be helped as time permits.
2646 Cedar Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Alchemy is designing the new retail space in Calhoun Square, Minneapolis for VState Clothing, an über-groovin' clothing store. It's a great fit! The new store will open in April, but right now, Alchemists are installing the flooring which is repurposed from an old warehouse floor. There's a terrific salvage spot here in Minneapolis called Bauer Brothers. It's an Alchemist's dream.