Dynamic Duo featured in 2018 Spaces Before & After Issue
After previously designing Jeff & Alyn’s home on White Bear Lake I was called back to renovate their existing garage and shed, transforming the dilapidated structures into a classic contemporary studio and office that melds well with the existing home design while significantly adding to the overall composition.
The couple, who were both artists, sold their business and sought to create a retreat that would allow them to continue their artistic and philanthropic ventures together in retirement. The whimsical input from the artistic owners made the design process the epitome of client, architect collaboration.
The existing garage and shed were located at the front of a very narrow pie shaped lot and were required to be renovated and connected in order to maintain their coveted location. To join the office and studio, a new cylindrical element was added containing a stairway and bathroom. The central point of the structure is home to a cylindrical, wishing well, shower located under a conical skylight.
The small footprint and soaring interior spaces give ample room for creativity to flow while the connecting stair joins each space. The washed river rock of the stair adds to the tactile experience with each pass by and the conical skylight is always there to illuminate your day. The juxtaposition of the steep pyramid and gable roofs with the cylindrical connector creates a sense of exuberant expectation for all those who arrive while the use of traditional materials, such as classic columns, stone, stucco, and copper in a contemporary expression creates a timeless, original design.
The collaborative design process made it very personal for Jeff and Alyn. “The garage and shed project is truly great. The building has wonderful character, Chris did a wonderful job designing it and the nuances that are built into that design are just incredible. When you talk about attention to detail, Chris Just nailed it. He is super talented and really gifted.”