Ultra-modern glass home in Minneapolis offers inside-out living

Larry and Cynthia Holtz are native Minnesotans who have never lived in California. But the modern glass house they built in south Minneapolis could easily be at home in Laurel Canyon, the desert in Palm Springs or on the beach by the Pacific Ocean.

Our cold northern climate can’t rival that of balmy California, but the Holtz residence, designed by Peterssen/Keller Architecture, effortlessly flows between indoor and outdoor living from its perch on a skinny sloped lot in the city.

The flat-roofed boxy dwelling is an amalgam of stark white stucco, dark stained cedar and black metal accents.

After stepping inside, you still feel like you’re outside. That’s because walls of glass — some that slide open — maximize views of the lush green landscape, punctuated by the cool blue swimming pool. And from their second-floor bedroom, Larry and Cynthia can see Lake Calhoun, filtered through the treetops.

The couple’s friends often point out that the home’s design is more West Coast than Twin Cities.

“It does feel like a California house,” said Larry. “But ironically, it’s the most beautiful outside in the winter when it’s snowing.”

Going modern was a dramatic departure for Larry and Cynthia. The couple had always lived in traditional homes, most recently in Edina’s Country Club neighborhood, where they raised their four children.

Once they became empty-nesters, they yearned to live in a walkable Minneapolis neighborhood where they could jog and walk their dog Leo around one of the urban lakes.

After quickly selling their Edina home, they decided that Calhoun was the lake where they would downsize and build new, rather than renovate an older house.

“We liked the openness of Lake Calhoun and all the activity around it,” said Larry.

But a piece of land for sale by Calhoun is a rare occurrence. Larry drove around neighborhoods for two years until he spied a white flag on a lot; by the end of the day, it held a “For Sale” sign.

Narrow lot

The narrow L-shaped lot in Linden Hills was on the south side of Lake Calhoun and backed up to a condominium complex with lots of privacy trees.

A rundown 1970s duplex on the lot would be torn down before a new house went up. The Holtzes closed on the property, and their builder, Nate Wissink of Elevation Homes, referred them to Peterssen/Keller, known for architecture with a clean contemporary aesthetic.

“Modern design has a simplicity to it and a certain calmness that appeals to us,” said Cynthia.

The couple had seen other infill modernist architecture in Linden Hills and knew a thoughtfully designed home could blend with older traditional housing stock. In fact, Jim and Donna Pohlad’s ultramodern abode is just two doors down.

But Ted Martin, the project manager, knew the Holtzes’ lot posed challenges. “How do we design an indoor-outdoor house that works for the odd-shaped site, captures the views — and yet has privacy?” he said.

The solution was an innovative structure composed of three pavilions linked by glass-enclosed sunken gardens.

Pavilions 1 and 2 contain the side-entry garage and the main-floor public living spaces. Pavilion 3 holds the second-story master suite, which is positioned perpendicularly so it projects out toward the lake.

The design team used 3-D computer modeling to determine the best window placement for the best views — including the vista of the downtown Minneapolis skyline from the second story. “You can place yourself inside the model to see the views,” said Martin.

Inside, the wide-open interior is a composition of warm walnut, white-streaked Aster stone on the fireplace and birch-tree leaves from the indoor garden.


Axo Light Partner of The Within Light – Inside Glass Exhibition


Light as opposed to darkness and as a source of consciousness. Glass as a light-like material, that can shape it with reflections and refractions. A medium that places visible and invisible in contact highlighting the light and elevating it to art. Promoted by Vicarte (“VICARTE – Vidro e Cerâmica para as Artes”) and curated by Francesca Giubilei, the exhibition presents the works of 15 international artists who explore the mutual influences between light and glass.

Using multiple types and technologies of light and glass and various applied arts, the artists Teresa Almeida, Mika Aoki, Enrico Tommaso De Paris, Armanda Duarte, Veronica Green, Alan Jaras, Anna-Lea Kopperi, Richard Meitner, Éric Michel, Diogo Navarro, Fernando Quintas, Silvano Rubino, Elisabeth Scherffig, Cesare Toffolo and Robert Wiley will bring the spaces of Galeria Millennium to life with interesting experiments.


The collaboration between Axo Light, Vicarte and the artist Richard Meitner developed over the course of these two exhibitions. Art and design join forces in a special project in which the artist developed seven prototypes of luminous sculptures, bringing together the technologies and processes connected to the industrial design of Axo Light and the experience and research of Vicarte in the use and processing of glass. As is often the case, art and design are mutually influenced and, as if by magic, they come together in an enchanted space that Axo Light aims to build and develop.


Vicarte (Lisbon) is the glass and ceramic research unit applied to the arts, established in partnership with the Faculties of Technological Sciences and Fine Arts at the University of Lisbon. The research carried out at Vicarte creates a link between present and past, the development of new possibilities for glass, ceramic and contemporary art. Here the traditional practices of glass production and processing are developed, as are the new theoretical and practical approaches for the application of the development of materials for artistic production.


Lisbon, Galeria Millennium, from September 16. 2015 to January 9. 2016 Inauguration September 15. 2015, at 6.30 pm


In occasion of the International year of Light, proclaimed by UNESCO for 2015, Axo Light is a partner of the “Within Light / Inside Glass” exhibition.


The first leg of the exhibition was held in Venice, Palazzo Loredan, from February 8 to April 19, in collaboration with the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti. Now the exhibition and the evolution of the works of art will be displayed in Lisbon from September 16. 2015 to January 9. 2016.


[Source: Interiorzine]


Garden Lamp of Metal and Glass by Christian Piccolo

High profile shapes, squared lines for sceneries with great identity. Inspired by toy soldiers game, Game is a garden lamp with a material mark and strongly modern. A surprising volume, a contemporary artwork that enchants for its unique inclination and squared shapes.



This collection fits easily into private and contract spaces, thanks to the perfect balance of shape, material and precision of details. Game stands out for its minimal and extremely functional language. Modernity and innovation are combined perfectly in this lamp of metal and glass.


[Source:- Interiorzine]