No. 506 . 02 February 2011 
ArchitectureWeek
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Minnesota AIA Awards

by ArchitectureWeek

The house on Bert Hodus and Donna Brogan's farm takes design cues from a farm icon. With its south facade "warped" by design, the couple's new home evokes the graceful sag of many aging 19th- and 20th-century American barns.

The Blair, Wisconsin, house is wrapped in rainscreen siding of locally harvested, rough-sawn white oak, evocative of the clients' own turn-of-the-20th-century red barn nearby. And the window and door openings are few and large.

The Hodus-Brogan House received a 2010 design award from the Minnesota chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The 12 award-winning projects range from single-family homes to a church, a U.S. port of entry, and a highly sustainable university building in Minnesota, along with a Dallas library and a collegiate arts complex in Georgia. Many of the buildings incorporate sustainable design features.

Blair Barn House

Architecture firm Alchemy designed the barnlike Blair house to serve as a full-time home for Hodus, a rural family doctor, and Brogan, a cabinetmaker.

The living spaces are contained in a steel-clad enclosure within the oak wrapper. The main living space is an open two-story room, like the main volume of a barn, with the master bedroom conceived as a "hay loft." At the northwest end of the building, the wood siding encloses a double-height porch area, providing shelter while allowing light to filter in through airspaces and a large door.

Several sustainability considerations were integral to the design: the siding provides sunshading, concrete floors provide thermal mass and contain an in-floor heating system, and the window placement reduces heat loss, as does staggered-stud thermal-break framing with polyurethane insulation.   >>>

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