Mike Christenson

Mike Christenson

St. Paul, MN, USA

East Elevation
East Elevation

Horizon House

The Horizon House was commissioned in 2012 by a small family as a primary residence on a suburban lot. Budget was a major concern, and every design decision was made with the goal of reducing cost while maintaining a simple, straightforward design aesthetic.

As a significant step toward reducing the overall construction costs, we worked directly with the window manufacturer to negotiate a deep discount on overstocked triple-glazed windows, all of which had been rejected by their original purchasers due to color or size mismatches. These unequally-sized windows feature prominently on the home’s principal elevations.

The home design required approval by the property developer of the residential subdivision. Although the home makes no obvious attempt to “fit in” with the neighboring houses – all of which are characterized by a consistent set of forms, volumes, roof shapes, and materials – the developer was amenable to our design, requiring only that our original choice for exterior siding (corrugated Galvalume) be changed to lap siding.

The floor plan is generally open, providing circulation around a central core consisting of bathrooms, utilities, and a stair. Food storage is in shelves along the exterior wall; food preparation, dining, living, and office functions are combined into a single open space. The design for the upstairs loft was inspired by a corncrib on a nearby farm.

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Status: Built
Location: Moorhead, MN, US
My Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Malini Srivastava, AIA, Architect