[Minnesota + Modern + Japanese + Scandinavian] House
This St. Paul renovation for an architect and her Japanese-scholar partner borrows engawa and genkan elements from traditional Japanese houses. The full length veranda—or engawa—connects the southern garden to the genkan, the moderating space between indoors and outdoors. The passive solar addition acts like a solar collector with thermal mass, in-floor heat, and spray foam insulation, to increase the home’s comfort levels while letting light into formerly dark spaces. The kitchen is conceived as a white oak box inserted into the shell of the house, separated by a large sliding door that allows the sitting room to be turned into a private guest room.