MINNEAPOLIS, April 25, 2024 —
 Christopher Strom, AIA, is the 2024 recipient of the AIA Minnesota Residential Architect of Distinction Award.

The Residential Architect of Distinction Award is given every two years to a residential architect, licensed for more than 15 years, who has demonstrated architectural excellence through design, craft, and materials, or who has made significant contributions to the advancement of residential design.

After earning a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley, Strom returned to Minnesota and worked on a variety of projects for Ellerbe Becket. He pivoted to residential practice more than 20 years ago and founded Christopher Strom Architects in 2014. “Since the beginning of my career, I’ve been inspired by Australian architect Glenn Murcutt’s vision for achieving design potency through editing,” says Strom. With rigorous editing, “residential architecture can bloom within constraints. Small homes are just as architecturally potent as large homes—and sometimes even more fun!”

Christopher Strom Architects has received numerous design awards and Star Tribune Home of the Month selections for projects large and small. Strom received the AIA Minnesota Residential Emerging Architect Award in 2014 and the organization’s Young Architects Award in 2016.

In a letter recommending Strom for the award, frequent collaborator Christine Frisk, founder of InUnison Design, wrote, “I have observed Christopher when he is in design/client mode—always searching for excellence and creativity and determining the best approach during the build phase. His extraordinary understanding of details always brings the architecture to new levels.”

In addition to designing new homes, additions, and remodels, Strom has been a leading advocate for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in the Twin Cities metro, advising both Minneapolis and Edina planning departments in their review of ADU-related ordinances. He and his firm have also helped popularize the project type with a growing portfolio of locally and nationally spotlighted ADUs. The 2024 Residential Architect of Distinction Award jury lauded Strom for his beautifully executed ADUs and for bringing quality design to a wider clientele through “achievable projects that speak to many homeowners.”

“The awardee should be commended not only for his design work but for his meaningful advocacy on policy that helps shape the built environment,” added one juror. “This legacy will impact the profession and the shape of our cities at a scale beyond that of the typical work of a residential architect.”

The 2024 Residential Architect of Distinction Award jury included AIA Minnesota Committee on Design co-chair Doug Bergert, AIA; 2005 Residential Emerging Architect Award recipient and 2017 Residential Architect of Distinction Award recipient Christine Albertsson, AIA; Carly Coulson, AIA; 2017 Residential Emerging Architect Award recipient Jody McGuire, AIA; and David Wilson, AIA.

Strom will receive his award at an AIA Minnesota Awards Celebration at Crown Roller Mill in Minneapolis in August 2024. Learn more about the Residential Architect of Distinction Award here.

The American Institute of Architects Minnesota, founded in 1892, is dedicated to strengthening our communities, improving our built environment, and providing exceptional design. For more information on the organization and Minnesota architectural firms, visit our website and subscribe to ENTER, our digital monthly newsletter that explores the people and ideas shaping a better built environment for Minnesota.