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Archive for month: March, 2013

Taking a ride with Recovery Bike Shop and NEIC!

March 29th, 2013

by Phil Hofstad, Associate AIA

NEIC Proposed

NEIC Existing

Northeast Investment Cooperative, (NEIC) is a new cooperative whose goal is to improve the quality of commercial and residential properties in NE Minneapolis. Its first venture is to rehabilitate and lease a large commercial property at 2506 Central Avenue NE. Recovery Bike Shop, a bike repair and resale business plans to move into the adjacent 2504 Central building later this spring. McMonigal Architects is thrilled to partner with NEIC and Recovery Bike Shop in this project.

Both existing hundred-year-old buildings have seen better days. As NEIC board member Chris Bubser says, “the buildings have nothing but potential”. Our design challenge has been to transform two bland but distinct facades- one mostly brick, the other mostly metal- into one energized, unified whole.

The existing large corrugated metal facade at 2506 Central has become a symbol for NEIC’s cost-conscious investment strategy: “How do we make an asset out of a liability?” Rather than completely remove the siding to expose a low, non-descript building, we chose to celebrate the industrial aesthetic by cutting out portions of the metal to expose the structural bracing, brick, and sky beyond.  This approach limits the amount of material to be removed and transforms the existing metal siding into an attention-grabbing billboard.

In a newly rehabbed commercial property on a busy street, the businesses will need to attract attention yet visually fit into the existing neighborhood fabric. This conceptual design does both. Along with NEIC and Recovery Bike Shop, we are eager to “get the project rolling”. Visit NEIC and hop on the journey with us!

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Universal Appeal

March 14th, 2013

by Nick Dellwo

Accessible Home

Setting our record for the most published project is  ….drumroll, please…. the Gasterland house.

Barb and Hans’ house was just published in the book “The Accessible Home” by Deborah Pierce.  Previous books that profiled their house include “Universal Design for the Home,” by Wendy A. Jordan, “The Simple Home” by Sarah Nettleton, and “Dream Homes Minnesota.”

Six other publications have also profiled their amazing story.  Barb occasionally uses a wheelchair while coping with a degenerative-joint disease and may use it more in the future.  She spent two years testing products proposed for use in the house, under her doctor’s guidance and our assistance, to determine her chemical sensitivity.

The house and site are accessible throughout, and the design allows for future adaptations as needs change.  Since Barb and Hans have a 17-inch height difference, areas throughout the home have been customized for specific use by each of them.

Barb is a master gardener and beautiful raised beds have been integrated with the architecture.  We collected and directed all of the roof water into gardens around the house.  The gardens are shared with their flock of chickens which keep an eco-balance in the yard and produce eggs on site!  View more photos

 

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