The design of the Lake Elmo weeHouse, a hyper-efficient home for clients who live in both Australia and Minnesota, was tightly constrained by a modest budget, the wetland flood line below, and a 16’ maximum zoning height above. Nonetheless, the 990 sf box contains 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and ample open space. It hovers lightly above the surrounding wetland on helical piers. A custom weathering steel and black cedar skin blends the house into the trees. Its wide enclosed deck and ample entry porch extend the living quarters out over the yard, bridging the transition from inside to out.
Inside, a white-on white palette is punctuated by a kitchen carved out of the core and highlighted in hand-rubbed silver, a built-in bench to inhabit the wetland view at the hallway’s end, and two small but luxe baths. Mechanicals are tucked out of the way and accessed by a trap door in the kitchen. The house stays cozy with in-floor hydronic heat throughout.
*Many photos by Brooks Geenen, others by Alchemy