Architects: Salmela Architect
- Year: 2014
Text description provided by the architects. This zinc clad house trimmed in black richlite is built on an existing foundation in a tall pine forested site high above the St. Criox River in Minnesota. The existing home was beset with serious moisture infiltration problems which in turn gave rise to a host of environmental efficiency and air quality issues. The design team saved all the foundation and masonry components that were salvageable.
The form evolves from the varying height spaces of the interior, informed by the tall trees surrounding the house and masonry chimney that was saved and renovated. Natural light is brought in from all directions and skillfully reflected by multiple means such as wood screens, walls and surfaces of varying hues and projected skylights.
The living space with its beautiful Italian kitchen functions in segmented fashion in support of daily needs yet open to cross conversation with spaces of intimate heights and the contrast of soaring heights to experience the landscape of the St Croix River valley.
Access to the exterior decks in multiple sides on the house allows the feel of being elevated among the branches of the trees as well as the ability of choosing sun or shade depending on the temperature of the day.
The bold forms of the white masonry chimney, the soft quality of the zinc siding, the black of the trim elements, the mellowness of the aging wood, the thinness of the metal balustrades and the arrangement of the stacked blocks of building forms makes for a comfortable scale for a home.