In the late 1940s, midcentury masters Close Associates designed an unusual duplex. Almost 70 years later, they designed an addition.

By Christopher Hudson

When the longtime owners of a notable midcentury duplex on a hillside in Minneapolis’ Prospect Park decided to downsize by moving from a larger single-family home into one of the units, they engaged the firm that had designed the dwelling in the 1940s—Close Associates—to enhance the living spaces for 21st-century living. Architect Gar Hargens, AIA, and designer Andrew Peterson, Assoc. AIA, responded with a small yet airy living-room addition that culminates in a balcony with a stunning skyline view. The addition and remodeled areas all honor the home’s original character and proportions.

Would a different firm have approached the project differently? “The assignment was to create new spaces for viewing downtown. We thought of adding an offshoot in a more contrasting shape and expression, but in the end we decided the most efficient and respectful approach was to continue the massing and rooflines but to vary the materials and increase the glazing to signal this was clearly an addition. Other designers might have tried the first impulse, if they could hold to the modest budget.”
—Architect Gar Hargens, AIA

Designer Andrew Peterson, Assoc. AIA, on why midcentury Close homes are still so beloved today
1. They’re thoughtfully designed.
2. They’re efficient and compact, and more and more people are eschewing the McMansion lifestyle.
3. The attention to detail—the houses are all cleverly configured, with economy of materials.
4. Their clean lines are timeless.

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Clients: Marilyn and Steve Peltier
Architect: Close Associates Inc., Architects
General contractor: Redstone Builders
Completion: August 2016
Photographer: Andrea Rugg