There is a common sense that lofts are open and airy. This is especially true in downtown Minneapolis, the Guthrie Theater, and the two-story loft with dramatic views of the river. But this space is different. “There are more walls in the loft than you would normally see, and that’s what makes it so powerful,” said architect Matthew Kreliich, head of design and partner at Snow Kreilich Architects.
This is because the walls not only divide the space, but also serve as the backdrop for an outstanding collection of contemporary art and 20th century Scandinavian furniture. Still, the design team didn’t aim to create a museum-like space. “We really wanted to create a house where they could display their art in a beautiful and thoughtful way,” says Kreirich.
The finishing of the walls by painting designer Darryl Otto plays an important role. Venetian plaster with a slightly reflective texture covers most of the surface, but the finish has shifted to flat paint for art niches. The extruded aluminum reveals the mark transition between the two surfaces. “It’s like they’re splicing together in a very thoughtful way,” says lead architectural designer Axel Coe.
Similar levels of thinking extend to other details such as completely hidden pocket doors, continuous ceilings, and embedded orb LED lighting with TM Light that can be accurately angled to illuminate the art. “The minimum details of these types are the hardest to achieve in practice and require real skill,” says Kreiich.
Ian Alderman, Senior Project Manager for Streeter Custom Builder, agrees. “There is no base trim or casing throughout the loft. It’s very clean and minimal,” he says. “That’s also why it makes it difficult. Trims cover any irregularities you might have, but it wasn’t an option here.”
Still, woodwork serves to balance the seamless white surface, and Harley Custom Cabinet pieces include white oak slip-matched veneers in library cabinets. “The dialogue between the white surface and the trees helps put the project on the ground and makes it feel like a house,” says Coruh.
Working with Danish Teak Classics interior designer Anne Klemm Rogers from the beginning, the space felt like a cozy home. “We worked very specifically around furniture with Anne, almost to the extent that we consider them art,” says Kreiich.
Scandinavian works from the 1930s to the 1960s, a mixture of contemporary and custom works, make up a significant portion of the furniture. The blend relaxes and accentuates the look. “To have a soul in such an urban space, we need to leave room for unforeseen circumstances,” Rogers says. “And it can just be beautiful furniture.”
The owner’s art collection is noteworthy, but the design team didn’t want the look of the art gallery. “It’s a home,” says interior designer Anne Krem Rogers. “It has impressive quality, but the combination of vintage items and new and custom items is very attractive. It feels like everything has been acquired over a period of years.”
The understated architectural finish was the key to the design. “Here’s a world of stunning scenery and a world of collections. I think the architecture is trying to mediate between them in a very subtle and restrained way,” says project lead designer Aksel Coruh. .. “It would have been too much to have three voices.”
“Architecture and interior design harmonize beautifully, creating a quiet and restrained place for art and conversation.” — Architect Matthew Kreilich
interior design: Anne Klemm Rogers, Danish Teak Classics / DTC Interior Design, 1500 NE Jackson St., MPLS. , 612-362-7870, danishteakclassics.com // Architecture: Matthew Kreilich, FAIA, and Aksel Coruh, Snow Kreilich Architects, 219 N. 2nd St., Ste. 120, MPLS. , 612-359-9430, snowkreilich.com // builder: Streeter Custom Builder, 18321 Minnetonka Blvd., Wayzata, 952-449-9448, streeterhomes.com