Boasting wide views of Lake Minnetonka, this contemporary home was designed with the great outdoors in mind. Not content with merely capitalizing on warm Minnesota summers, the client challenged Aulik Design Build with creating a home that maintained a strong connection to the site year-round.
To maximize the grounds and minimize obtrusive massing, the residence is apportioned into three distinct gable-roofed pavilions connected by flat-roofed links. Recessed into the general massing, covered terraces, porches, and balconies create ample intermediary living spaces. Defined grass terraces step down toward the lake and extend the architecturally defined space into the landscape.
The home’s primary spaces are laid out in the “lanterne” fashion—defined by the see-through quality affording multiple exposures and flooding the rooms with daylight and cross-ventilation.
Extensive use of floor-to-ceiling glazing and pocketing lift-and-slide units allows the interior to spill out visually and spatially. At the rear, a 20-foot-long length of glass pockets into an adjacent wall, creating a seamless transition from the main entertaining spaces for extended gatherings and seasonal living.
Durable and low-maintenance exterior finishes, executed with crisp and clean detailing, are carried inside. Granite, used to clad the plinth and the terraces, is brought indoors on a more domestic scale—covering the floors of the foyer and mudroom service spaces. Limestone masonry also wraps inside, most notably as part of the walls of the mudroom and staircase bridge. Materials not only flow continuously from exterior to interior, but the self-referential quality of the home also further dictated that the material palettes, landscaping, and furnishings be complementary and sympathetic.
Interior lighting is tunable, and the lighting control system is programmed to automatically adjust the color temperature as the day progresses. Rooms awash in bright daylight at high noon are transformed by increasingly warmer and softer ambient light as dusk approaches.
Reflection, an often forgotten architectural characteristic, also plays a role in reinforcing the home’s strong indoor/outdoor relationship. The polished reflective plaster finishing the ceilings effectively lengthens the height of the windows further reflecting the landscape inside. Elsewhere, the use of mirrors in key locations, both interior and exterior, serve to expand views and blur the line between building and nature.