Upon purchasing a narrow property with incredible views of a nearby lake, a Minnesota couple set out to integrate their lively spirit within the established, urban neighborhood. They commissioned the help of PKA Architecture, and the team began to reimagine a new single-family dwelling to replace the existing home. Also, the clients explored the idea of creating additional living space above a new detached garage on the back side of the lot. This Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) would soon be one of the first built in Minneapolis.
Whether as a converted storage or garage space, an expansion to an existing structure, or a separate, standalone unit, ADUs allow seniors, single parents, and multi-generational families to enjoy flexible living options. Adding an ADU to the new dwelling’s design plan provided the homeowners with improved accessibility and affordability solutions as the family and household needs continued to evolve.
As so often happens with design projects, the homeowners had different architectural sensibilities: one favored traditional design while the other preferred a modern aesthetic. However, both agreed that the main space should have a visual connection to the lake. PKA Architecture accommodated aspects of both preferences, and created a casual, efficient, open floor plan with multiple gathering spaces. Consulting with Kolbe Gallery Twin Cities, the design team was able to select the Kolbe Windows & Doors products needed to provide an abundance of natural light, a connection to the outdoors, and expansive views of the lake.
PKA founder, Lars Peterssen, shared, “The 42-foot-wide by 300-foot-deep site was comparable to the length of a full city block, or two back-to-back residential lots, and presented quite a design challenge. Our primary design goal was to create a transparent connection from the backyard through to the lake.”
The resulting design expertly utilized layering, scale, and natural materials to give the home a fresh, modern spirit while also relating to the neighboring homes and maintaining a connection to the street. A dramatic palette of natural materials like Fond du Lac limestone, stained cedar, walnut cabinetry, and blackened steel shelving is complemented by the Coal Black finish of the windows and doors.
“As designers, we appreciate the way Kolbe’s VistaLuxe Collection windows and sliding doors integrated naturally into our organic modern design,” stated Peterssen.
The clean lines of the VistaLuxe multi-slide patio doors span a wall along the kitchen and are enhanced by the horizontal 7/8” performance divided lites. Further, transoms above the doors not only extended the daylight and views all the way to the ceiling, but gave a more traditional touch to appease both design preferences.
“Kolbe’s sleek, modern profiles with divided lites helped us satisfy the clients’ desire for a modern home with traditional references,” added PKA co-founder, Gabriel Keller.
The ADU retains the style and scale of the principal home—matching the house architecturally with a flat roof, partial cantilever, and natural building materials. Moreover, coordinating windows continue the horizontal divided lite pattern, all while welcoming in fresh air and backyard views. Complete with a living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, office, and deck, the above-garage ADU harmonizes with the main home as well as the neighborhood.