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Sharing is what people do. We tell stories. We swap recipes.  This is where McMonigal shares our thoughts on all things architecture and interior design related. Some of these ideas you may even feel compelled to share with your family and friends.

Architect of Distinction Award

April 18th, 2013

by Nick Dellwo

In case you hadn’t heard, Rosemary McMonigal has been honored by the American Institute of Architects Minnesota (AIA-MN) and Midwest Home Magazine with the “Architect of Distinction” award.  Once each year this award recognizes one architect for outstanding professional achievement and design excellence.  Of course, Rosemary is humbled by this honor and we as an office are all the more happy for her.  That said, I must admit that from my point of view, it was only a matter of time.

The Architect of Distinction is awarded to the best, most talented and most respected architects.  After more than 30 years in the profession, Rosemary has earned it.  I have not known another architect with so much design creativity, professional integrity and down to earth sensibility as Rosemary.  On top of that, she works harder than the Energizer Bunny.  It’s strangely refreshing to hear her admit that she’s actually a little tired at the end of a week.  Beyond all of this, her endless passion for service to the community and to the architectural profession sets her apart.

Maintaining a work-life balance is also very important to Rosemary.  It’s a big part of the reason why she is so successful.  She relates to people on their level, where they are and wherever they’re going.  Design for Rosemary is collaborating with people to create architecture that enhances their lives.  No wonder so many clients continue to be her life long friends.  If you haven’t gotten to know Rosemary yet, perhaps you should.

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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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Skylark Wins National Award

January 28th, 2013

by Rosemary McMonigal FAIA, LEED AP, CID

Skylark Night

American Dry Cleaner Magazine recently named Skylark Dry Cleaning the best new dry cleaning Plant-On-Premises in the United States for 2012. The magazine cited several unique aspects of Skylark’s new store, including a 24-hour locker kiosk and multiple green cleaning systems (Liquid CO2, Greenearth, and Professional Wet Cleaning).

We are very proud of this honor given the many unique challenges faced in converting a vacant, former auto parts store to a state-of-the-art dry cleaning plant and store.  The architecture creates a clean, fresh, colorful and modern environment that reflects Skylark’s process and vision.

Check out the award article on the American Dry Cleaner website.  View more photos of the Skylark facility.  Or even better, come see the real thing at 1530 – 7th Street West in St. Paul.  Skylark loves to give tours!

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Change Is Good

December 7th, 2012

by Nick Dellwo

Crown Office 1938

No, this isn’t a nostalgic posting about what business was like 100 years ago, nor is it a commentary about how far we’ve come. Actually, it’s an announcement of our upcoming office move and the unique connection between our current and new office spaces.

The historic Grain Belt Brewery in Northeast Minneapolis has been McMonigal Architect’s home for the last 10 years. We’ve enjoyed it here and the time for change has come again. An extensive quest to find a new office home led us to another historic building.

The Crown Iron Works Company property is located just “1.24 miles” (according to Rosemary and Google) east of our current space. It began as a blacksmith shop in Northeast Minneapolis in 1878 and continued as a large iron foundry throughout much of the 20th Century. Crown Iron castings are clearly visible on the outside of the Grain Belt, and we are about to move into what was the main office of Crown Iron Works itself. The photo above is what it looked like in 1938 (courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society). A lot has changed since then…

The office move will happen during the third week of December. Check the website “Connect” page for updated contact information.

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A virtual remodel of our own

November 6th, 2012

by Nick Dellwo

McMonigal Architects has renovated our own little corner of cyberspace. The address remains the same: mcmonigal.com, but our online digs have been completely revamped. Check out the new and improved website today.

When you do, you’ll enjoy some show and tell. See a portfolio of our home, business, and community projects, complete with extensive photography and an overview of the work. Then learn more about McMonigal’s method for design success and the talented people who make things happen.

“It was time to do something different,” Rosemary McMonigal said. “So we set out to create an experience that more clearly defines who we are as architects today. Our new website helps accomplish that.”

We’ll continue updating our site with new projects, so visit often. For more up-to-date news, check back here or follow our social media posts.

At McMonigal we often collaborate with other professionals to achieve the best results, and we did the same with our new site. Spangler Design Team created the website. LiveWire Copy provided the copy writing  Thanks to all for the great team work!

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