Colonial Roots, Fresh Approach
A sophisticated mix of simple shapes and familiar materials breathes new life into a venerable house style.
Synopsis: In Minnesota, where Scandinavian roots run deep, architect David Salmela got the chance to recast one of the most-replicated houses in America: the colonial. Rising on a base of concrete block, the street-side elevation of the house has a colonial silhouette with none of the traditional trappings. Asymmetrical windows, laminated 1-ft. by 2-ft. posts supporting the second floor and doubling as window casings, and the lack of a formal center-hall entry are just some of the ways that this colonial breaks with tradition. The house also features Norwegian carvings; wood-slat screens used as railings, ceilings, and walls; a fireplace inspired by a wood-fired stove in a centuries-old Swedish farmhouse; and windows that run past the ceiling plane. At only 24 ft. wide, the house has few partitions on the main floor, so the living spaces are flooded with daylight from nearly every point on the compass.
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