Modern Farmhouse

Modern Farmhouse
Nestled within 160 acres in northern Minnesota, this project was commissioned by the clients as their dream home for retirement.  Both growing up in farm/country settings, they requested a two level home that spoke to this vernacular.  It needed to adequately serve not only them, but expand for larger family gatherings.(public  ground floor & private lower level)  Considering the client's recent MS diagnosis, the house also needed to be ADA compliant & accommodate potential future wheelchair access.  An elevator is housed within the gleaming grain silo, which is supplemented by the absence of thresholds throughout the home.  The remaining, relatively straight-forward program, was enhanced by the owner's forward-thinking in terms of energy efficiency.
The residence boasts near self-sufficiency via several interconnecting solutions.  A large wind turbine, erected as a pre-project to the house, as well as a geo-thermal system are in place.  Passive cooling & heating play a role as well.  With the rear two-thirds of the home shifted to face due South, it collects maximum fall/winter/spring sun, and allows the stained concrete floors to hold that energy as a two level, thermal mass.  The house can also open on the east & west facades, which creates an elongated breezeway in the warmer months.  The remaining front one-third of the home stays on the orthogonal grid, aligning with the existing farm buildings.
The clients were also interested in utilizing eco-friendly processes & materials.(bamboo cabinetry, recycled resin panels, etc.)  Local woods & stone were used as well; seen in the knotty pine ceilings and stacked stone wall.  The latter acts as a spine through the center of the home.  It erodes as it moves to the rear; providing for closets, built-ins, stairway, counters, fireplaces, and finally an outdoor grill.  The building itself also works with the gradual sloping site, thus providing the clients with a walk-out basement to round out their wish-list for this contemporary farmhouse.

Building Activity

  • Jereme Smith
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