No matter the size of the home, an architect can help you build, remodel, or add to your space, working with you to achieve your vision for your dream home. This year’s tour includes a first in its 13-year history: a remodeled loft.

The owners of Home 4, “River View Loft,” were downsizing from a large single-family home to a condominium loft in a historic building along the Mississippi River. However, the existing condo was dated, dark, and poorly laid out, with very little privacy for the bedrooms and only one bathroom, among other issues.

The client’s goals included daily living spaces on one level, an open floor plan, a master bedroom with an en suite bathroom, a den, access to the condo’s outdoor space, and more storage space. To achieve this, the architect demolished space on the perimeter of the existing loft, reorganized rooms for flexibility, and added a new stair to the mezzanine level.

The design is only part of the process of remodeling a loft, however. Because it is in a multifamily building, the architect had to also navigate getting approvals from all authorities with jurisdiction, including the condominium association and the management company.

The architect used the loft’s height to its advantage, and reorganized living spaces on the main level and the mezzanine level, allowing the homeowners to use every square foot available. Small changes went a long way to preserving and expanding vertical space: a thin steel and wood decking created the mezzanine level with only 2 ¼ inch-thick flooring, opening up the space even further.

“The elements architecturally perform multiple functions,” says Mark Tambornino, AIA, who worked on the project. A continuous horizontal surface harmonizes the main level open floor plan. “The kitchen counter folds down to become the banquette seating, then steps down to become the balcony doorstep, and then transitions to become the fireplace hearth,” Tambornino explains.

All of this was done while also increasing daylighting—and the accompanying stunning views of downtown and the Mississippi River—via large windows and skylights, essential in a smaller space. The result is a light-filled, highly efficient, beautifully functional space the owners love.

Tickets to the 13th annual Homes by Architects Tour go on sale August 10. Learn more at

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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