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Gold Coin Gate House

Outbuilding/ Detail Project Less Than 800 SF

TEA2 Architects

Dan Nepp, AIA, CID and Tom Henningsen


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Dan Nepp, AIA, CID and Tom Henningsen

The Team: Dan Nepp, AIA, and Tom Henningsen
Photographer: Courtesy of TEA2 Architects and Carol Trusz

At the Precipice
Situated on a precipice along the Purcell Trench 260 feet above Lake Pend Orielle, this storybook gatehouse sits at the end of a narrow, winding road, acting as both sentinel for and invitation to the property beyond. Envisioned by the owner as the first phase of a romantic enclave of buildings, including a carriage house, main house and small barn, the gatehouse establishes the tone for the rest of the property.

A Charming Counterpoint
Strategically placed in order to heighten the drama of its natural setting, the precarious perch of the diminutive cottage presents a poignant counterpoint to the rugged grandeur of the site. Packed with program, this fully functional guest house has a kitchen, informal dining, living room, bedroom, bath, single-car garage and mechanical room, yet feels modest in scale due to its carefully considered proportions and attention to detail – not to mention its monumental backdrop.

Archetypal Resonance
Simple, historical forms combined with moments of asymmetry create a vocabulary that feels both iconic and accessible - providing a sense of unexpected whimsy and a feeling of informal ease and invitation for visitors within the formal language of cantilievers, deep eaves and roofline beams. The rich, authentic detail and eye for craft embodied in the expression of the crimson keyhole window, upturned eaves, and undulating stone coursing, give this traditional structure a very timeless quality, while also giving it tactile appeal and emotional resonance.

A Promise Fulfilled
As one nears the gatehouse, the original promise of a charming, whimsical cottage is fulfilled, its attention to detail and graceful execution becoming ever more apparent upon closer inspection. Yet the form of the gatehouse does not immediately suggest specific programmatic elements as such, and the illusion of not knowing encourages further exploration. In true storybook form, the tale continues to reveal itself as additional pages are turned.
TEA2 Architects
2724 West 43rd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55410
(612)-929-2800
www.tea2architects.com

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