Twin Cities Tiny Homes Profiled on MPR

WeehomePhoto Credit: Alchemy Architects

How do you do more with less? There seems to be an emerging trend of backing away from McMansions to smaller, prefab homes with a thoughtful footprint on the environment and on one’s pocketbook.

Prefab homes is short for prefabricated homes, which are manufactured off-site in sections and then shipped to a location, where they are assembled.

Yesterday, Minnesota Public Radio’s The Daily Circuit show welcomed Geoffrey Warner, founder of weeHouse with Alchemy Architects, and Thomas Fisher, professor of architecture and dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, to talk about the role of prefab homes in our culture. Click here to listen to the MPR story and learn more about prefab homes.

If you are looking to talk with others and learn more about constructing and living in a tiny home, there is a meetup going on at the Red Stag Supper Club tomorrow, February 17th at 12pm. Click here to view and join the meetup page.

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Docomomo US/MN’s Modern Homes Tour

As you might know, I’m a sucker for mid-century architecture. Are you? If so, please join me this weekend for Docomomo US/MN’s modern homes tour. As a full disclosure, I am on the board of directors for this nonprofit, whose mission is to document and conserve buildings and sites of the modern movement.

The tour is this Saturday, October 6th and includes a morning tour of homes designed by architect, Robert Cerny and an afternoon tour of homes on Cedar Lake. The best part is that not only do you get to admire the outside architecture, but you actually get to go inside the homes and appreciate the interiors. The above photograph is a sample of all of the homes on this year’s tour. To learn more information on how to purchase tickets, visit

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U of M Students Envision New Public Spaces for Nicollet Mall

Image from

If you could re-do Nicollet Mall to create more outdoor gathering spaces, what would you do?  That is the challenge that Graduate Students of the University of Minnesota’s College of Design posed for a recent workshop.  You may read more about the project at The Line.

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Profile: Tanek Architecture and Design

Video Courtesy of Fran at Zeichen Press

I would like you to meet Tanek!  Tanek, an architectural and design firm, is nestled in a converted turn of the century office building in Minneapolis.  The firm was started in 1999 by Nat Shea and Ken Piper.  If you flip their first names backwards and combine them, you get Tan and Nek, or Tanek!  I had the chance to meet with Ken and Nat last week and learn more about Tanek’s  projects and design process.  Take a moment to meet Nat and Ken and their talented staff in the video above and then click after the jump to see my interview with Tanek!

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Architecture around the Twin Cities

One of my favorite local blogs, Nokohaha, recently posted this video from  The video features Jackie Peacha from MS&R showcasing some of the Twin Cities’ most beloved architecture.  With that being said, what are some of your favorite building in the Twin Cities and why?  Leave a comment below!

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Architecture of the Guthrie

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Minnesota native Howard Silver produced this video which gives a tour of Architect, Jean Nouvel’s 2006 Guthrie Theater.  Joe Dowling, Guthrie’s Artistic Director, and Tom DeAngelo, local architect-of-record, provide insight of Nouvel’s vision through interviews.  This video was originally produced for Bloomberg MUSE.  You may view Silver’s other videos at Arts into Production.

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Building Minnesota

Courtesy of Building Minnesota

Lately, I have been enjoying the podcasts of the now-defunct Building Minnesota blog.  The blog, written by Todd Melby, features stories on Minnesota architecture and demonstrates Melby’s genuine love and interest in providing engaging content with fellow design and architecture enthusiasts.   Although one can still access the blog and the podcasts, it is a shame the blog did not receive enough funding to keep it going, therefore ending its 3 year run in 2008.  The blog’s archives are a great reference tool to sort through.  The postcasts, originally aired on KFAI, are an especially interesting listen.  Melby interviews architects such as  Bigelow Chapel’s architect, Joan Serrano, as well as Tom Deangelo of Architectural Alliance, who worked with French Architect, Jean Nouvel, on the Guthrie.  There is even a five part story with a movie on the process of building the modern home designed by architect Julie Snow, which was recently featured in Dwell magazine.  You may download and listen to all the podcasts on Building Minnesota iTunes podcast page.

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DOCOMOMO at Design Within Reach

For anyone who is interested in keeping Minnesota’s architectural history alive, check out the MN chapter of DOCOMOMO.  It stands for the DOcumentation and COnservation of buildings and sites neighborhoods of the MOdern MOvement.  This international organization promotes the study, interpretation and protection of architecture, landscape and urban design of the modern movement.

This Thursday, June 24th, Design Within Reach is hosting a Mod Mixer from 6-8pm.  Come out and talk over cocktails about the progress of the organizations and details of upcoming events.  Stay for the raffle and membership details!

Design Within Reach is located at:
2939 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55408 (Uptown)

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