Above left: Rent the VJAA-designed Gunflint Lake Cabin. Above right: PlansMatter founders and architects Scott Muellner and Connie Lindor.
Lovers of good design, rejoice. PlansMatter, a just-launched vacation rental service, aims at simplifying the task of finding a well-designed home away from home. The site, built on the airbnb/VRBO model, lists modern, architect-designed properties available for rent around the country.
Minneapolis couple Scott Muellner and Connie Lindor—both architects who also co-founded in 2001 the late and still-lamented Uptown shop redlurered—decided last summer that the world needs a website to help people find architectural vacation rentals. After beta testing, site visits, and lots of improvements, the site went live in mid-April with 12 properties.
It includes multiple photos of the listing, information about the property and its architect, and nearby activities. The listings are searchable by property as well as by architect, just in case you fantasize about staying in a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. You can, by the way: The Wright-designed Seth Peterson Cottage in Mirror Lake, Wisc., is available for $250-$300 per night. Staying in the cottage was a transformative experience for Lindor. “It’s like meditating on Frank Lloyd Wright,” she says.
Architects design homes to be experienced—not photographed or toured, adds Muellner. “Your experience of the architect completely changes if you’re allowed to stay in the architecture overnight.”
You can experience a cabin on the shore of Lake Superior designed by Snow Kreilich Architects in Minneapolis, a penthouse in Los Angeles designed by Rudolph Schindler in the 1930s, and the Sliding House in the far reaches of Nova Scotia designed by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The co-founders’ own 1906 Minneapolis duplex, which they completely renovated in 2014, is also listed.
Julie Snow of Snow Kreilich Architects and Andrew Blauvelt of Cranbrook Art Museum are on the start-up’s board, lending gravitas and referral help. If you prefer to take trips that combine vacationing with design tourism, PlansMatter is a good place to start. plansmatter.com
By Chris Lee
Photos courtesy of Scott Muellner