Transformation of a Tired 80’s Tract Home in Suburban Minneapolis

Transformation of a Tired 80’s Tract Home in Suburban Minneapolis

Architects: SALA Architects
Project: Tract Home Renovation
Designer: Eric Odor
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Photographs: Troy Thies

The task: A whole house transformation of a tired 80’s tract home nestle amongst its siblings on a developer’s cul-de-sac in suburban Minneapolis.

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The approach: Although a freestanding home, this 2500 s.f. 5-level split is similar in plan to an attached townhouse with most of its windows on the front and back and virtually none in the longer sidewalls. This, coupled with the use of solid half walls and stair rails, made the house light on the ends and dark in the middle.

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The net result was a staggered assembly of drywall boxes and beams with long punched openings for standing peeks into adjacent spaces. So we simply opened the boxes, leaving only a series of vertical drywall planes and horizontal wood slabs that allow the light and views to pass and the space to flow. What once was cordoned off and crowded now is open and expansive, with the warmth and variety of their furniture and artwork reflected in the palette of the transformation.

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We also let a plane of natural wood slip out the door onto the entry deck and down its stairs as a modest counterpoint and a foreshadowing of what’s inside.

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