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Past Meets Present

Multi-Family Renovation

David Heide Design Studio

Mark Nelson

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The first-floor kitchen opens to the family room, butler’s pantry, and newly added breakfast room. The traditional design includes custom cabinetry with art-glass doors, natural iceberg quartzite on the table and countertops, and decorative stenciling around the overhead light fixture.
The geometry of the circle organizes the components of the first-floor master bathroom—the tub, shower, and water closet—and is reinforced by the shape of the lavatory and the ceiling detail above. Rojo Alicante marble tops the two-sided, free-standing lavatory, shower, and tub, and built-in furniture in the dressing room/closet. The floor of basket-weave stone includes a contrasting dot of the same marble.
One of the additions to the building is this sunny, first-floor breakfast room, framed by arched windows. The roof of this addition also creates a terrace off the upstairs kitchen—a welcome outdoor room for the second-floor homeowners.
The restoration of this deteriorated 1924 Mediterranean Revival duplex included replacing the stucco and roof tile (which was sourced from the company that supplied the original), and recreating the original balustrade of the front porch and decorative terra cotta lunettes. The once-identical floor plans of the upper and lower units were reconfigured to fit the new owners’ sensibilities and lifestyles: The traditional downstairs for the parents, and the contemporary upstairs for their daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter.
The young family upstairs wanted a contemporary kitchen that would be an informal gathering spot for entertaining, cooking, or doing homework. The design maintained the historic context of the 1924 building—doors, millwork, windows—and inserted contemporary casework, finishes and details into the space. The hardworking centerpiece is the elliptical island, one piece of custom-fabricated stainless steel with an integrated prep sink and column. The custom, vertical-grain, white-oak cabinetry with a ceruse finish and the glass-tile backsplash provide the sleek backdrop.
The contemporary second-floor master bathroom, finished in honed granite in brown suede and oval glass mosaic, combines clean lines with high contrast. Divided spaces make the bath easy for two to share: the double lavatory occupies one room, while a pedestal tub, glass-enclosed shower, and toilet are in the other.

Video: Meet the Architects

Mark Nelson

The Team:
Mark Nelson, AIA, David Heide,Associate AIA, Brad Belka, Chris Christofferson, Kyle Thrapp, Marcy Townsend, Associate AIA

General Contractor
Pete Welch and Don Forsman, Welch Forsman Associates, Inc.

Interior Designer
David Heide Design Studio

Structural Engineer
Mattson MacDonald Young

Leed Consultant
Building Knowledge

Design Intent/Solution
A neglected 1924 Mediterranean Revival duplex was brought back to life with a sustainable twist. To satisfy the new residents—three generations of the same family—a mix of remodeling and new components were added to the existing structure. The team worked within the guidelines of the Heritage Preservation Commission, and the building received a LEED Gold standard for “green” additions such as a geothermal system and foam insulation.

Judges’ Comments
The well-named “Past Meets Present” submission won over the judges with the historic integrity. Much of the original detail was left in tact while the team fully modernized the home with today’s comfort and conveniences and made it more energy efficient, all done within the challenges and guidelines of the Heritage Preservation Commission.
David Heide Design Studio
663 Grain Exchange Building
301 Fourth Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415


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