Architecture & Design
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What makes a great architect? Part designer, part engineer, part visionary, the phenomenal architect must be able to listen and interpret his or her clients’ wishes, think realistically (and optimistically), and achieve a vision that stands out as an aesthetic treasure. A great architect is conscious of the environment, the weather, the natural light, the views. A great architect designs buildings that make their clients’ lives not only more functional, but more meaningful and beautiful. We are fortunate to have so many talented architects in the local community, architects regularly receiving prestigious awards and national recognition for their residential and commercial work. Architects who, in our opinion, are truly great at what they do.
Charlie & Co. Design, Ltd.
What is your design philosophy?
We believe that great residential architecture can be accessible to everyone, regardless of budget. We often work within budgets that might—at first glance—seem overly challenging compared to the scope of what the client wants to accomplish, but with creativity and a little elbow grease, even cost-effective materials can become dramatic backdrops within a home, and make a lasting statement within the space.
Our style has been called …
“Traditionally Modern” by some of our clients. We’re fluent in a range of historical architectural styles, but we’re best known for combining clean lines with traditional and familiar forms. People want to feel comfortable within their homes and can tend to want to have a traditional “DNA footprint.” Understanding that, we breathe a little “now” into the design, giving it a unique feel that marries familiarity with modernity. Most importantly, though, we consider you, your personality, your family, your interests, and your budget. Your home is a unique reflection of your lifestyle, and we can help emphasize what is important.
What sets your firm apart from the competition?
As a community, we’re blessed to have many talented design professionals living amongst us. What we offer at Charlie & Co. Design is a plurality of design experience. Many of our projects entail the home’s architecture, the lighting design, interior design, and landscape design. Being able to have a base understanding of all of these levels of service helps us create one cohesive concept. From kitchen remodels, to furniture design, to new home design services, we provide the same level of passion to each project, regardless of size, scope, budget, or aesthetic.
David Heide Design Studio
Whether the project is a renovation or new construction, historic or modern, our designs blend elements of timeless residential architecture with the necessary amenities for modern life. We pride ourselves on getting everything right, down to the smallest detail. That approach—more than any specific aesthetic or era—is our true specialty.
David Heide founded the studio in 1997. With both architecture and interior design departments, our studio serves clients with an integrated process, from initial meeting to project completion. We have been honored with more than 20 ASID Awards—including Best In Show, 2009—a Minnesota Chapter AIA Honor Award, and numerous other local and national awards.
Our expertise is not ego; our recommendations are never rules. Our mission is to help clients understand their dreams, define the program for their project, and respond with a design that exceeds their expectations. We aim to meet the client’s needs at every step in the design process with the highest level of service and quality.
Every home needs…
to respond and adapt to the habits and sensibilities of its owners over time. We prefer to think of houses as works in progress rather than artifacts. A well-designed house will function well into the future, while retaining its essential character and vitality.
Laurel Ulland Architecture
What is your background and experience?
LUA is a small residential firm composed of designers and architects that have a wealth of training and experience. Combined, the three principals of the firm bring nearly 70 years of experience in residential design, renovation, and construction. We came to architecture after earlier professional lives in different fields, as varied as carpentry and construction, house restoration, chemistry, and international relations. We owned and operated individual residential design firms before combining forces 10 years ago to collaborate and offer homeowners a full array of architectural services and experience. Our strengths are experience and knowledge of the design process, construction means and methods, and construction administration and management.
Our design philosophy:
As residential architects, the homeowner is at the center of our world. There are no “hero” architects in our firm. We do not dictate a certain design aesthetic or way of life. We take great pride in our ability to help homeowners transform an existing residence or construct a new home in a way that reflects their particular needs, yet enhances the character and design of the original home or property.
Where do you find inspiration outside of architecture?
I think we get our greatest inspiration from the people we work with, including our clients and building contractors, but especially trades/craftspeople and suppliers. We count on cabinetmakers and woodworkers, ceramic artists and tile installers, metal workers and painters, product suppliers and vendors to keep us up-to-date on materials and finishes, and means and methods of construction. Another source of inspiration is travel, it delights the eye and refreshes the soul.
Describe a project you are proud to have implemented.
What about it makes you proud? We are especially proud of a project near Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. The property had been owned by a single family for over 100 years, yet had fallen into disrepair after the death of a long-time owner. The new owners were committed to preserving the quality and integrity of the original house and property but wanted to celebrate the interaction of the house with the garden and lake views beyond. Through a collaborative process, we were able to meet (and exceed) these goals. The project will be featured in the book The Legendary Homes of Minneapolis Lakes.
Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build is a small firm of 11 people dedicated to great design, urban living, and sustainability. Their craftspeople and trade partners are some of the finest anywhere. Together they form a family that looks out for each other and strives to make every project perfect. “Watching this amazing team perform for 16 years has been rewarding beyond imagination,” says Michael Anschel, principal and designer.
How do you incorporate energy efficiency into your homebuilding/remodeling projects?
The team at Otogawa-Anschel has been leading the industry and setting the standard for amazing design that is efficient and sustainable. They apply building science to every project; testing, measuring, and developing safe effective strategies. Many of their projects see performance improvements of 40-80 percent. They take the politics out of green building.
Which projects yield the best return on investment?
“We don’t believe in the house as a commodity,” says Anschel. “A home is a place you live, raise a family, feel safe and secure. Whatever project improves your quality of life has the best return on investment. Happiness is priceless.”
Who—in your opinion—sets the bar for style, quality, and durability when it comes to building/remodeling?
“We do,” Anschel says. “Few companies today can claim our level of achievement.” The firm is celebrated nationally for excellence in design, construction, historical renovation, and sustainability. “We are often mistaken for an architecture firm because of our fresh and forward-thinking design,” he comments. “Working on turn of-the-century homes requires a superior level of quality and craftsmanship. Building green requires thorough documentation, inspection, and quality materials, resulting in homes that are healthy, durable, and efficient.”