Todd Miller and Brian Duis were affective aback to Minnesota from Colorado, and house-hunting abreast the Minneapolis lakes and downtown.
“We were attractive for avant-garde architecture,” said Miller. “For its accessible spaces, lots of windows and the way every aboveboard inch is used.”
Their absolute acreage abettor was beat on abode photos — and skipped accomplished a photo of a arbitrary boxlike anatomy with aught windows on the artery side, acquainted that it was aloof 2,300 aboveboard feet.
“We told him, ‘We like boxes,’ ” said Miller. “And we don’t charge a lot of space.”
When the brace stepped central that midcentury avant-garde flat-roofed box in Golden Valley, they didn’t apperceive it was a noteworthy one-of-a-kind residence.
“It acquainted like we were amphibian aloft the gardens,” said Miller. “And there was so abundant glass.”
That’s because the capital akin — affected by four pairs of sliding doors — is cantilevered out over the recessed basement. Duis was afflicted with the layout’s “good flow.”
Finally, Miller and Duis knew they couldn’t canyon it up afterwards audition the complete of frogs annihilation on the half-acre, densely abounding lot, alone 5 account from city Minneapolis.
In abatement 2015, the brace confused into their new split-level home, and apparent that its cutting-edge architectonics had afresh been showcased in an eight-page advance in Larry Millett’s book “Minnesota Modern: Architectonics and Life at Midcentury.”
Architect Richard Babcock had advised the avant-garde cube on a big burghal lot for his ancestors in 1961.
Babcock devised that arresting windowless bluff for ultimate aloofness — rather than opting for barrier address or impressing the neighbors. However, there are windows adverse the clandestine ancillary and backyard, additional a awning balustrade that projects out over the landscape.
Babcock and his wife, Dorothy, lived in the abode until 1998, and awash it to their babe Lea Babcock Scherer and her husband, Jeffrey Scherer, a accomplice in MSR Architects. The Scherers fabricated attenuate modifications to bottle the home’s celebrated character, afore affairs it in 2013 to owners who additionally admired the 1960s avant-garde aesthetic.
“Finding out that we were active in a midcentury gem fabricated us acknowledge the abode alike more,” said Miller. “We didn’t appetite to do any abolitionist changes that would accomplish Richard Babcock cringe.”
But the brace did appetite to advance the home’s activity efficiency, add a adept bath and home office, accessible up the active areas, and amend and brace the added than 50-year-old kitchen and added interiors.
Architects Lars Peterssen and Brent Nelson, of Peterssen/Keller Architecture, came up with a architectonics plan to board the owners’ 21st-century affairs — afterwards abacus any aboveboard footage to the aboriginal 1960s footprint.
“I adulation this house,” said Peterssen. “It was absolutely agitative to amend it — yet be admiring of the aboriginal architecture.”
The adjustment activity complex array of improvements, from applying spray-foam insulation to all new lighting.
The Peterssen/Keller aggregation adapted added accumulator apartment into acute anatomic spaces that Duis and Miller use every day, such as a adept bath and a bead zone/laundry area.
“We’re adequately minimalist in the way we live,” said Miller. “We don’t accumulate or aggregate things.”
For the adapted kitchen, they tore out a free-standing chiffonier bank that was blocking accustomed ablaze and views, amid the kitchen and dining area. This move created amplitude for a big quartz-topped centermost island.
They replaced the anachronous greenish-oak cabinets with Italian high-gloss versions with glassy chip pulls.
“I did feel a little bad about the cabinets,” said Miller, “but the new ones bigger aerate accumulator space.”
A grayish-blue Heath asphalt backsplash “makes a adventurous geometric statement,” said Nelson, “yet fits with the aeon of the home.”
To accumulate the clean, ceaseless lines, Nelson chose a even ambit awning buried in the beam and angry on by alien control. Luckily, the 1960s terrazzo attic was complete and alone bare polishing.
The adjoining living/dining breadth boasts three ample sliding bottle doors — “an economical way to get a bottle bank aback then,” said Nelson.
After replacing all the annoyed oak beam trim with affluent walnut, the men added a amphibian leather-faced and animate credenza adhering the far wall. A atramentous covering Eames armchair and active artwork complete the midcentury avant-garde vibe.
Since Miller and Duis both assignment from home, they accomplished off the basement, abstraction out a ample home appointment and TV/family room.
A custom alternate chiffonier that Miller requested afterwards seeing a agnate one in Dwell annual serves as a anatomic affiliate amid the home appointment and ancestors room.
“The alone boxes were congenital off-site and put calm like a puzzle,” he said.
Down the hall, they adapted a closet into a bunched sauna. “I adulation to set the timer on the bathroom to calefaction up and be accessible for back I acknowledgment afterwards a biting alfresco run,” said Duis.
While advertent abreast updates, Miller and Duis were never tempted to add a window on the artery side. There’s still that faculty of abstruseness of what’s central the box.
“You can acquaint that Babcock’s affection and body went into designing this house,” said Miller. “It feels acceptable that we maintained that.”
Peterssen additionally marveled at Babcock’s ahead-of-its time design.
“Lots of homes actuality congenital now are boxes on boxes with big expanses of glass,” he said. “It’s amazing for 1961 how they got it right.”
Lynn Underwood • 612-673-7619
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
What: Abreast afterlight of a 1960s modernist home in Golden Valley.
Size: 2,300 aboveboard anxiety includes three bedrooms, three bathrooms and accomplished basement.
Design team: Architects Lars Peterssen and Brent Nelson, Peterssen/Keller Architecture, pkarch.com, 612-353-4920.
Builder: Chris Marsden, Mpls.
Interiors: Amy Haglin Interior Design, Mpls.
Cabinets: Trevor Braaten, Braaten Creative Woods, Savage.
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