DESIGN TEAM: Christopher Strom, AIA
PROJECT TYPE: New Construction
Christopher Strom Architects

Project Address: 3456 33rd Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55406
Driving Directions: From the West: from I-35W take Exit 14 for 36th St/35th St. Right onto E 36th St (0.6 mi). Left onto Chicago Ave (0.1 mi). Right into E 35th St (1.9 mi). Left onto 33rd Ave S. Access the home from 35th Street side of property. From the East: from I-94 take Exit 237 for Cretin Ave toward Vandalia St. Keep left at the fork, following signs for Cretin Ave. Left onto Vandalia St. Continue onto Cretin Ave N (0.5 mi). Right onto Marshall Ave (0.5 mi). Continue onto E Lake St (0.9 mi). Left onto 36th Ave S (0.6 mi). Right onto E 35th St (0.2 mi). Right onto 33rd Ave S. Access the home from 35th Street side of property. 

The owner downsized from a mid-size suburban home to a 640-square-foot Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in South Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood. The ADU’s contemporary façade creates an independent identity for this property set in the backyard of a duplex.

The design balances privacy with connection to the outdoors. Large sliding doors face the shared yard. A large roof cantilever is both a signature design element and protective canopy for the outdoor deck. Exterior materials were chosen for durability and to establish a horizontal proportion.

The house feels much larger than would seem possible thanks to strategically-placed glass on all four elevations; the occupant can experience the path of sunlight over the course of the day. Southern light is captured through a cheerful orange awning window, hinting at an animated and modern color palette within.

Sliding doors painted a cheerful yellow reveal a bedroom suite that feels private when closed yet expands the overall interior volume when open. The bedroom is flanked by a walk-in closet and a full bathroom containing a combination washer/dryer. The kitchen is compact yet well-appointed, offering most of the amenities of a larger home.

 
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