Alternatives to the Urban McMansion

Home 15 on the AIA Tour

Presented by  AIA-Minnesota-Logo

The planning departments of both Minneapolis and St. Paul recently took steps to halt the rise in urban homes being torn down and replaced by voluminous structures that dwarf their neighbors and use almost every square inch of available lot space. This year’s Homes by Architects Tour showcases several projects that demonstrate how sensitive design and consideration for the existing fabric of the neighborhood can result in spacious homes with modern amenities—all appropriately scaled.

Home 16 on the AIA Tour

The Crocus Hill neighborhood in St. Paul is a redeveloped former school site. The land was parceled and homes were built that reflect the historic charm of the community and pay homage to the eclectic architectural styles of surrounding homes. For Home #16, TEA2 Architects designed a quaint, shingle-style home for homeowners who needed adequate space for two home offices. Architect Petra Schwartze, AIA, was able to design to the scale of neighboring homes and provide her clients with all the living space they needed.

Home 15 on the AIA Tour

A short distance away at Home #15, Kell Architects designed a new home with the same considerations, also for clients who work from home. The neighborhood is made up mainly of story-and-a-half bungalows, and architect Meghan Kell, AIA, remained true to that aesthetic style. She maximized space by making creative use of the half-story above, while front and rear porches provide a comfortable transition between inside and out, and a second story above the garage allows for more bonus space.

Don’t miss these homes and the other 15 amazing projects, open to the public from 10 am to 5 pm on September 17 and 18, 2016. Tickets are now on sale at

The 2016 tour is supported by Hage Homes, Marvin Windows & Doors, Elevation Homes, Streeter & Associates, Warners’ Stellian, Lilu Interiors, Marvin Design Gallery by Shaw Stewart, Mattson Macdonald Young, Pella Windows and Doors, Alpine Hardwood, Cates Fine Homes, Erotas Building Corp., Fresh Energy, Full Swing Golf, Grateful Beds Garden Rehab & Design, Mercury Mosaics, Olin Construction, Orijin Stone, Otto Painting Design, Redpath Constable Interior Design, American Mortgage & Equity Consultants, Inc., Archistructures, Bunkers & Associates, Clay Squared to Infinity, Lucy Interior Design, Southview Design, Stephen Donnelly Company, and Midwest Home.

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