Altus Architecture
Dana Wheelock
Altus Architecture

Altus Architecture

Architects from 1609 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis, United States
It is the belief of our architectural practice that in this period of maturing Modernism, advancing technology and emerging green design, that one must understand the qualities and issues present in all great architecture over time. For it is these issues of design integrity that can be developed and refined over time and made unique in each project. The home depicted in this publication is an exploration of such issues that result in progressive contextualism - a belief in place making that allows the project to express an individual identity while evoking intangible experiential qualities.

First among these issues is the celebration of the site and the gifts of the land. Each individual location has a sense of place and identity that should be amplified, whether it is a remote lakefront site or many floors above the city. Thoughtful placement and composition of the aspects of the project on the site with the integration of landscape design allows the architecture to be a natural extension of that place, and belonging only to that place. Indoor and outdoor spaces merge, integrating the living experience with the site

Equally important to the creation of architecture is the capture and development of natural light. Great residential architecture seeks to celebrate the rituals of the day, and light is the spiritual food that nourishes the soul, transforming these experiences. Understanding the path of the sun, one can compose the spaces within and outside the home with natural light, enriching the experiential qualities of space and creating a sense of place.

What is unique in residential design is the exploration of spatial dynamics with a human scale. Creating a sequence of events through a space allows one’s senses to become engaged, creating a visceral experience. We believe in narrow houses that draw in natural light and sculpt spaces inside and out. Developing compressing and releasing spaces creates dynamics of intimacy and openness, nurturing a relationship with the place.

The most identifiable aspect of architecture and perceived value of residential design is the quality of materials. Beyond cost, each material we select to build with has intrinsic qualities that evoke characteristics of solidity, plasticity, texture and color, while also absorbing or transmitting light. An exploration of these qualities transforms the experience of each house and conveys a relationship with the craft of building.

The understanding of these issues has resulted in the work presented here and all of our projects. Each project is unique - a reflection of its specific location and owner identity balancing what is timeless and progressive, evoking memorable experiences.