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The transformation

  • Article by: JUM BUCHTA
  • Updated: January 12, 2007 - 3:24 PM

The Transformation: How architect Mark Larson improved the function of this boxy, multi-level house without adding an inch of space to its layout.

The fixes: Light was blocked by a wall that once ran through the middle of the kitchen, leaving the center of the house dark. That wall was removed and the kitchen was shifted to the core of the house as a narrower, galleylike work space. Two islands, one for prep work and the other for cleanup, were created.

There was no clear heart of the house and no real living room except for a sunken room at the base of a three-story tower that included two rooms/balconies that overlooked the living room.

That three-room tower is now a main-level living room and a second-floor bedroom/office above. There's also a new staircase that functions better than the steep old one.

The dining room: A raw, undefined space was transformed into a dining room with built-in cabinets that separate the mud room, laundry and half-bath.

Project info: Location: North Oaks

Design: Intern architect Keith Kamman and architect Mark Larson, AIA, of Rehkamp Larson Architects, Minneapolis

Kitchen consultant: Mary Jane Pappas, Pappas

Design Contractor: Fey Construction

Cost: Whole-house transformations like this range from $200 to $300 per square foot.

  • about this series

  • The Home of the Month program is a partnership between the Star Tribune and the Minnesota chapter of the American Institute of Architects. It features architect-designed houses selected by a jury of experts. The houses represent a range of prices, styles and locations.

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