Home 16, “Fletcher Phoenix,” has a unique story among the tour homes. Like a phoenix, this 1942 Cape Cod-style home was reborn out of the ashes after a kitchen fire thanks to Kell Architects’ careful design decisions.

When this kitchen fire took place, it was disastrous for many physical aspects of the home. It caused extensive smoke damage, and the home required structural evaluation and material removal down to the studs. But a home is not just the physical nature of a place, and the fire also took a great emotional toll on the homeowners, as they lost many personal items and were left with a space no longer recognizable as their home.

After the fire, the owners’ initially wanted to find a way to rebuild their house. But, as they began thinking of a revived home, the dream of not only replacing what was lost but improving their home became the new goal. The extent of damage and necessary repair created the opportunity to resolve challenging plan layouts that had resulted from several additions over the years, in addition to the necessary kitchen remodel.

“The goal was to aid in the emotional healing after a disaster by creating design that was even better for this family than what they were forced to say goodbye to,” says Meghan Kell, AIA, the project architect.

In the end, the clients received a home that they love and the peace of mind knowing that they made the best decisions given their unique situation. Working with an architect was critical for the balance of technical know-how, design vision and foresight, and collaboration.

“Because we knew these clients so well from working on another project with them for many years, we were able to manage the emotional rollercoaster of rebuilding after devastation as well as the design needs,” adds Kell. “Sensitivity and keen listening skills are the keys to a smooth process.”

Get your tickets for the 13th annual Homes by Architects Tour now! Learn more at homesbyarchitects.org.

The 2020 Tour is supported by Pella Windows & Doors, White Oaks Savanna, SpacecraftingAndersen Windows, Brooke Voss Design, DOM InteriorsFritz Cabinetry, Frost Cabinets, Hagstrom Builder, InUnison Design, Kolbe Gallery Twin Cities, Martha Dayton Design, North ElevationOtto Painting Design, Redpath Constable Interior Design, Redstone Architectural Homes, Showcase Renovations, Streeter Custom Builder, Synergy Products, and Welch Forsman Associates.

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