The B House, designed by Julie Snow Architects, occupies a corner lot in a single-family neighborhood of Minneapolis.

b+w house, minneapolis

  • The B House, designed by Julie Snow Architects, occupies a corner lot in a single-family neighborhood of Minneapolis.

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    The B House, designed by Julie Snow Architects, occupies a corner lot in a single-family neighborhood of Minneapolis.

    Dean Kaufman

    The B+W House, designed by Julie Snow Architects, occupies a corner lot in a single-family neighborhood of Minneapolis.

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    A cast-in-place concrete system forms the walls of the first floor and garden, while wood siding clads the upper level.

    Dean Kaufman

    A cast-in-place concrete system forms the walls of the first floor and garden, while wood siding clads the upper level.

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    The rear of the house opens into an enclosed garden that essentially doubles the living space of the first floor.

    Dean Kaufman

    The rear of the house opens into an enclosed garden that essentially doubles the living space of the first floor.

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    The home integrates a streamlined kitchen into adjoining living and dining spaces.

    Dean Kaufman

    The home integrates a streamlined kitchen into adjoining living and dining spaces.

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    A wall of glass doors connects the main living space and the garden.

    Dean Kaufman

    A wall of glass doors connects the main living space and the garden.

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    Exposed concrete serves as both a structural and finish material for the first level. Upstairs, plaster walls convey a contrasting sense of lightness.

    Dean Kaufman

    Exposed concrete serves as both a structural and finish material for the first level. Upstairs, plaster walls convey a contrasting sense of lightness.

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    Walnut floors on the second level supply a warm hue to balance the coolness of the glass and plaster.

    Dean Kaufman

    Walnut floors on the second level supply a warm hue to balance the coolness of the glass and plaster.

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    The home's site plan.

    Julie Snow Architects

    The home's site plan.

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    The home's first and second floor plans.

    Julie Snow Architects

    The home's first and second floor plans.

b+w house, minneapolis
julie snow architects
minneapolis

Architect Julie Snow, FAIA, and her clients conceived the concrete-enclosed ground level of this Minneapolis house after a visit to Donald Judd’s boxy sculptures in Marfa, Texas. Judd’s work inspired the walls that extend past the building envelope to surround a landscaped garden, providing privacy on a tight lot. “The project works with the scale of the neighborhood and the close proximity of the neighbors,” a judge said.

It’s not easy to achieve a sense of lightness in a concrete house, but Snow managed to do so by using wood and plaster for the upper level and by opening up the garden-facing wall with glass doors. This latter strategy basically doubles the first floor’s living space. The owners can even enjoy their garden during Minneapolis’ frigid winters, thanks to an outdoor firepit. “The house is an urban sanctuary,” Snow says.

 

View all 2012 RADA winners.


project credits

principal in charge: Julie Snow, FAIA, Julie Snow Architects; general contractor: Mike Wallein, Daiku Corp., Oakdale, Minn.; landscape architects: Matt Olson and Mike Brady, ROLU, rosenlof/lucas, Minneapolis; project size: 2,400 square feet; site size: 0.11 acre; construction cost: Withheld; photography: Dean Kaufman.


product details

bathroom fittings: Whitehaus, products.whitehauscollection.com; cooktop/refrigerator: Electrolux, www.electrolux.com; countertops: Hanwha Surfaces, www.hanwhasurfaces.com; exterior siding: Thermomass, www.thermomass.com; kitchen fittings/fixtures: BLANCO, www.blancoamerica.com; lighting fixtures: Prandina, www.prandina.it; paints/stains/wall finishes: Pratt & Lambert, www.prattandlambert.com; range hood: Jenn-Air, www.jennair.com; windows: Arcadia, www.arcadiainc.com

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.