This new home’s massing and proportions take their cues from historic Victorian houses while its clean, modern architecture stands in calming contrast to the bustling activity of an adjacent commercial hub.

The corner infill site for this contemporary single-family home is located at the edge of a historic district in Minneapolis and bordered by a grocery store’s service entrance to the east and a busy side street to the south. Thus, the home’s architecture and landscape design address the confluence of a densely developed urban realm and a traditional neighborhood setting by breaking down and inventively rearticulating details of nearby Late-Era or modified four-square Victorian homes.

A minimalist modern gable, tall vertical windows, and an elevated front porch reference the proportions and forms of the surrounding Victorian houses. These architectural details also break up the building’s massing, so it sits comfortably on a narrow, urban infill site.
The backyard creates an urban oasis, using
layers of separation to disconnect from the busy commercial center.
A second-floor balcony provides outdoor space for the main bedroom suite and extends over the front entry at the same height as the roofs sheltering the large porches of adjacent houses. The south side of the new home is designed to create privacy along a high-traffic street.
An alcove in the front porch features a built-in bench and a large opening to provide privacy with clear “eyes-on-the-street” views.
Simple forms and bright, white finishes are used throughout the interiors to achieve the airy and light-filled spaces desired by the homeowners. White painted millwork and walls, white marble countertops, and red-oak floors stained to match the exterior cypress create continuity between indoor and outdoor materials.
The kitchen opens up to the dining area and living room, creating a large, flexible gathering space.
A three-story storage closet behind the center wall shown here is perfectly sized for the future addition of an elevator. There is also a zero-threshold entry at the back to further facilitate aging in place.
Clerestory windows in the master bath preserve privacy while allowing natural light to enter this space where it is amplified by white finishes, cabinets and fixtures.
The minimalist modern gable is extruded on the back elevation, creating a roof for the back entry. Tongue-in-groove stained cypress wraps around the entire first level of the home. The groove is removed to create slat-wood fences on the south and north sides of the patio.
The carriage house is positioned perpendicular to the home to create a private patio and screen out the loading dock area of the adjoining commercial site. Newly planted aspens and a slat-wood fence buffer this outdoor room from traffic along 25th street.
The home’s minimalist modern gable and exterior materials, such as dark-bronze metal window trim and standing-seam roofing, stained cypress, and smooth-troweled Santa Barbara white stucco are also used for the carriage house.
The main level spaces of this 3,940-square-foot house include living and dining areas, the kitchen, and a half bath as well as an office/den near the back entry. D/O Architects also created a landscape plan so the site’s hardscapes, fences and plants could work in harmony with the home’s architecture.
The main bedroom suite, which is located on the second floor, opens onto the balcony above the front entry. Two additional bedrooms and a second full bath are also located on this level. The basement has ample space to add a fourth bedroom in the future.