The included projects are a small  sampling of our past work.  We will rotate others through this page from time to time.  We thought it would be fun to try something different then the usual handful of strategically shot images chosen to represent what often are solutions driven by complex real-world issues.  The hope is that by using video, the projects will become more real and understandable.  The fear is that by filming and editing these ourselves, we won’t do them justice…    Click on the picture for a Project Video.


Bald-Eagle-1Bald Eagle Lake Residence
Familiar materials – crafted into a modern style, make up the composition of this artisan home. A love of music led to the concept of ‘dancing walls’ under a barrel roof. Tipped at various angles, this repetition -like a musical score- plays visually with spaces throughout the interior of the home and creates intersections between the home itself and the many gardens. A beautiful custom glass sliding door is like a jewel at the end of the gallery and leads to the master suite. Take in the lake views fro the various roof decks and a museum quality cantilevered glass-enclosed stairway.

The ground floor workshop, complete with metal and woodworking fabrications, invites one to create, tinker and hear tales of the Owner’s inventions and travel. A respite from the workshop is the adjacent lakeside sitting room where stone and metal surfaces juxtapose each other as if the room itself is an invention. The interesting angles and surfaces throughout are bathed in light from south-facing windows and from the sum moving across Bald Eagle Lake.


Pine Lake Retreat

The goal of the project was to create a retreat or family gathering spot as well as a summer home for after retirement.

The chosen design direction incorporates strong forms with a mix of modern and natural materials.  A sleek metal building contains bedroom spaces and culminates at the top with access to a roof deck overlooking the lake and surrounding farms.  The barrel roofed structure houses the open living areas and loft space.  These buildings are then connected by a very transparent (even the upper level walkway is glass) entry ‘link’ that provides exceptional continuity between interior and exterior while at the same time separating the more secluded bedroom spaces from the gathering spaces.  Freestanding stone walls support and capture the built-in dining area on the lakeside and the stair on the entry side as they protrude from the main volume of the building.  At the stair, the large window wall within the stone becomes animated as people move along the floating staircase.

Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District

The challenge was to create a 6-7000 square foot district office building with environmentally friendly construction initiatives. The tight corner lot is triangular shaped with a steep slope down to a creek that runs along the back of the site.

We organized the building into spaces corresponding to the RWMWD’s mission of Preservation (offices), Restoration (garage) and Education (public areas).  Pervious pavement, a green roof and rain gardens treat all water from the property, as well as adjacent properties and streets, before it leaves the site. Local and durable materials add to the buildings’ longevity and environmental sensibilities. Thoughtful use of natural light and ventilation minimize excess use of utilities.

This project was recognized with a Governor’s MN Great Award for ‘leading by example’ in creating a building with minimal ecological impact.

Modest Modern

The Owners knew that they wanted something different from the mainstream. Something that would reflect their personal tastes, compliment their lives and lifestyle and minimize their impact on the world for future generations. Being ‘green friendly’ was a priority.  The home incorporates SIPs walls/roof, T-Mass foundations, triple-glazed windows and many other environmentally conscious materials and strategies.

The sliding contours of this in-fill site gave direction to the design.  The concept of the home was to utilize shifting planes, both vertical and horizontal, to organize the function, structure and material transitions.  By pushing and pulling these surfaces, the home opens up to the wetlands and blurs the passage between interior spaces.  The strong wall at the back of the home retains earth and provides symbolic privacy with the neighboring homes along the hillside.

Harriet Island Shelter

The City of St. Paul has been working to make the Harriet Island Regional Park a nationally recognized park.  This shelter was the next step in implementing that plan. The shelter was intended to provide a covered area for gathering/eating that is available for general public use as well as the potential for events where the shelter can be rented.

Located in the flood plain of the Mississippi River, the shelter incorporates historic bridge forms and materials that are both sturdy and durable and are able to withstand the flood waters. The narrow face of the building also faces upstream to minimize the exposure of the building to debris flowing downstream during floods. Above the flood datum line, the masonry structure changes to an open steel frame that supports the simple shed roof with a wood ceiling that flares up to direct the view toward downtown St. Paul across the river. Lockable ornamental iron gates allow the shelter to be closed off so things can be set up prior to events when the space has been rented.

Hillside Residence

A young family dreamed of a home that would inspire their daily lives and take full advantage of this gorgeous yet challenging site.   The final siting minimized tree removal and allowed the home to spin up the hill. Two identical buildings pinwheel around a tapered cedar-plywood stair tower.  This 10-degree taper relates to the slope of the hill and is recalled on each floor plate of the home.  The simple gable building forms evoke traditional feelings of ‘home’ while the vertical tower and chimney elements are more playful.

The roof appears to float over a sweeping recessed corner of glass in the living room bringing inside the surrounding woods and natural light.  The tower roof deck sets you up within the tree canopy and provides expansive views of the river valley.

The adults and young children each have their own special spaces.  A large open –and durable- family area was designed to encourage relaxation, interaction and fun, and to help the family create special memories.

This project was recognized by the Minnesota chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA MN) with a Residential Architects Vision and Excellence (RAVE) award.

YMCA Camp St. Croix Dining Hall

Our firm was hired to do a Visioning process for the entire YMCA Camp St Croix. This project became a priority based upon those discussions.

The existing 1970’s dining hall was in need of an update to meet current accessibility regulations, and to replace windows, insulation and interior finishes along with providing a new entry that opened off of the main exterior gathering space.

An addition to one end of the building provides space for the new accessible toilets and a handicap lift while opening up space for a new front entry to the “great lawn” where the old bathrooms used to be located. A new shed roofed canopy supported on heavy timber framing and log columns links the modern feel of the existing dining hall with the more rustic nature of several of the other buildings on the camp property. Energy efficiency upgrades will benefit the camp for years to come in their operating budget. Replacing the heavy dark paneling on the interior with new wainscot and light painted walls above, as well as the incorporation of new skylights, provides a far brighter, airy and inviting space for dining.

Big Marine Lake Residence

The design of the original guesthouse (completed while at H2 architecture) had always anticipated a future addition that would more than double the square footage and provide the “main home” part of the residence. The addition needed to complement and not compete with the bold forms of the original and at the same time, provide views to the lake from the addition without blocking views from the guesthouse.

The low-slung lines of the addition nestle in comfortably with the barrel roof of the existing while borrowing the exterior finishes to tie the forms together. The two wings of the addition reach out toward the lake and create a courtyard for outdoor living while at the same time providing ample light into all rooms and views out.

The interior is of modern design yet uses natural and simple materials generating a warm and comfortable feel. Maple, cherry and metal are accented throughout and pulled together in a custom art piece on the gallery wall. The Owners are still getting settled and we will update the video clip at a later date.

River Shack

What began as a small 8 foot x 16 foot camping shack, evolved into a more modern weekend getaway to spend time with family.  Siting was critical to conform with waterway regulations, maximize the views and to nestle within the existing trees. This “shack” keeps the private spaces to a minimum and plays up the communal spaces to provide ample space for time spent together cooking, eating, playing games or just plain relaxing.
The form is a simple shed-roofed rectangle with a few ‘push and pulls’ to sculpt the kitchen area and entries. The durable exterior building materials are articulated to define the functions within. The interior materials are kept clean and simple to allow for minimal upkeep.

Project Mashup

It is impossible to highlight every project and often equally impossible to revisit past projects to create a new video profile. This ‘Mashup’ was put together to be a home for these types of projects as well as for current designs in the works. A few were completed while I was an Associate at RRT Architects and a Principal at H2 Architecture. This sampling is intended to show a breadth of project types and will be updated and changed out several times a year.