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ECO-LUXURY

THE BEST IN SUSTAINABLE LIVING

Douglas Danks Associates SUSTAINABILITY AND AUTHENTICITY IN UNIQUE CONDITIONS

NATURAL INCLINATION Modern, 4,879-square-foot home in North Oaks, Minnesota, is sited in a spectacular landscape. Energy efficiency abounds, through LED lighting, and the use of various sustainable materials. The major living spaces and a master suite are organized over two floor levels along the south side of the house, capturing the lake views and taking advantage of the solar orientation for daylight and passive solar heating in the winter.

by Ruth E. Dávila

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LUXURY HOME QUARTERLY

FALL 2011

manship and attention to detail, and accomplished all this while staying cost effective,” Danks says. Van Horne worked extensively on finish selections, such as decorative tiles and fixtures, as well as builtins, including bookcases in the restored parlor. “The bookcases frame on both sides and run above a pocketing French door between the front foyer and parlor,” Danks says. “The house is imbued with so many charming details; it’s a joy to walk through and see those on a daily basis.” A project in North Oaks, Minnesota brought Douglas Danks Associates to an expansive, seven-acre property with spectacular lake views. The modern, 4,879-square-foot home nestles comfortably in the forested landscape. Its massing creates a number of outdoor rooms forming a link between the interior and exterior. For example, a wall of operable panels

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Structure, material, and daylight—these are the priIn a quaint, historic neighborhood in Stillwater, mary tools in Douglas Danks’ architectural toolbox. Minnesota, Douglas Danks Associates led a full resWith them, he designs custom homes in a broad toration of interior designer Suzanne Van Horne’s spectrum of styles, from minimal modernist to au2,186-square-foot Carpenter’s Gothic Revival home. thentic historical restorations and new construction. In addition to creating a master suite and mud“The style of the architecture is not imposed by us,” room addition and several interior features such as says Danks, president of Douglas Danks Associates furniture-like cabinetry and window-seat nooks, in Stillwater, Minnesota. “It comes from each client Danks designed new porches, true to the style of we work with and the unique conditions of their the original structure. During restoration, the crew project.” Operating in the upper Midwest, mainly stumbled across original plaster moldings, still inMinnesota, Douglas Danks Associates respond cretact. “To find them was almost like an archeological atively to challenges regarding the natural elements, discovery,” Danks recalls. Working with the original as well as complicated site conditions and renova1876 masonry exterior and plaster wall surfaces, tions. In fact, the firm’s forte is technical complexity. ceiling surfaces, and intricate wet plaster details reThough flexible in aesthetics, Douglas Danks Associquired specialized expertise to remain authentic to ates holds a steadfast commitment to certain prinand seamless with the original house’s construction. ciples, such as “a well grounded and appropriate “Grandt Builders developed innovative solutions to approach to energy efficiency, good building science the challenging and unique construction conditions practices, and sustainable design strategies.” of this project, provided the highest level of crafts-

LHQ13  

Ebb & Flow

LHQ13  

Ebb & Flow

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