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Architect Julie Snow wins AIA Minnesota Gold Medal

Posted by: Mary Abbe under Architecture, Awards Updated: August 22, 2014 - 4:06 PM

Architect Julie Snow. Photo provided by AIA Minnesota

Modernist architect Julie Snow has won the 2014 Gold Medal from AIA Minnesota, a professional association. The award is for "a lifetime of distinguished achievement" and significant contributions to the field.

Snow and colleague Matt Kreilich run the Minneapolis-based firm Snow Kreilich Architects. She is equally adept at transforming and updating outmoded structures for new uses, and start-from-scratch designs for homes, offices and government buildings. Typically she details her sleek  geometric structures with glass walls and warm wood surfaces defined by narrow bands of metal.

Recent projects range from converting a shabby 1960s food distribution center in Minneapolis into a stylish headquarters for KNOCK, Inc., a design and marketing firm, to designing a handsome  U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility in Warroad, MN. One of her most high profile Minneapolis projects was the 2004 conversion of a Spanish Revival Congregational Church into the Museum of Russian Art, a transformation that created a spacious two story gallery from the former nave and intimate galleries in the basement. She has also designed houses in the Twin Cities and vacation homes in Northern Minnesota.

"Her graceful modernism -- from elegant cantilevered spaces in oceanfront houses to the elegant rooflines of U.S. border stations -- achieves simplicity that only comes from the highest rigor in design and attention to detail," said Tom Hysell, AIA Minnesota president, in a statement.

A graduate of the University of Colorado, Snow worked for various Minneapolis firms including HGA before starting her own practice while teaching at the College of Architecture at the University of Minnesota.

Previously her firm also won, among others, the AIA Honor Award, Progressive Architecture Design Award, and the Chicago Athenaeum's American and International Architecture Award,

"Within a rigorous underpinning, she and her studio make the marvelous happen," said the Amercan Academy of Arts and Letters in presenting her with its prestigious architecture award. "She is a ballerina who can dance in work boots."

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