On a clear afternoon

Minimal furnishings and decorations in this loft-style apartment draw attention to the generous spaces and the dramatic, animated outlook
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Above: With a simple, minimal palette of colors and materials, supplemented with a few key pieces of furniture and works of art, the spaces in this loft-style apartment feel generous. Left: The white modular couch can beconfigured to create seating for up to three groups. As it is, it provides cozy seating for two by the fireplace and a second area where a larger group of friends can be entertained.

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Above: Project architect Thomas Meyer and project designer Kristilyn Vercruysse of MSR wanted to keep the strong sense of space in this apartment. Furniture was chosen by interior designer Jodi Gillespie to suit the scale of the high ceilings and big concrete columns. Large walls display pieces from the owners’ art collection, which they rotate to ensure the apartment does not look crowded or cluttered. A pair of chairs was reupholstered as a counterpoint to the sleek, modern design.

The temptation when faced with a large, open living space is to see it as an opportunity to find places for all your favorite pieces of furniture, art works and other interesting objects. When project architect Thomas Meyer and project designer Kristilyn Vercruysse of Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle (MS&R) were asked to remodel this loft-style inner city apartment, they saw the potential of the space. Occupying the entire ninth level of the nine-year-old Humboldt Loft Building in Minneapolis, the apartment had good bones, says Meyer. “The structure was well designed when

it was built, with high ceilings, exposed raw concrete floors and ceilings, and plenty of big windows, but the original fit-out didn’t really take full advantage of the interior space or the fabulous position,” he says. “On the interior our role was to bring out the best from the loft, in a series of subtle ways. We added a new lighting system, relocated a few sprinkler pipes to tidy them up, introduced a canopy over the kitchen to house acoustic panels, and added a black steel fireplace to create a feeling of warmth.” The main living, dining and kitchen areas

form a single, large, open-plan space. The master suite and second bedroom, not part of this redesign, are to one side, and a third bedroom has been converted into a media room and office with built-in cabinetry to accommodate computers, television, and stereo equipment. To maintain the appearance of volume and generosity of space, Meyer says they used a very simple color palette, and kept furnishings to a minimum. The gray of the concrete floors, columns and ceilings is a foundation color that is lifted by the black fireplace and window frames.

“These neutral tones bind the space together, while splashes of color are introduced with a few carefully chosen items, such as the rugs, the art, and the views,” says the architect. Key pieces, such as the modular white sofa on the red rug, the kitchen under its canopy, and the large dining table, create simple compositions within the wider space, without cluttering the living area and making it seem smaller. Even the owners’ art collection has been pared back. Instead of hanging everything at once, they select a few pieces to display and rotate them from time to time.

Legend for plan: 1 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 3 ensuite bathroom, 4 living room, 5 gallery, 6 master suite, 7 dining area, 8 kitchen, 9 terrace, 10 media room.


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Top and above: The stainless steel kitchen countertop is offset by dark oak cabinetry, and the stainless range draws the eye up to the matching canopy. Large glass sliding doors beyond the kitchen open onto the terrace. Facing page: Interior designer Jodi Gillespie worked with the architects to find furniture that fit the aesthetic of the loft. The 10ft-long cantilever dining table combines rough industrial metal and refined glass.

The owners enjoy cooking and entertaining, so the kitchen was designed as a large, open feature in the center of the space, delineated by a canopy made from very thin, closely spaced sheets of stainless steel. “Because the kitchen is an integral part of the overall living area, it had to meet the standard and style of the rest of the space,” says Meyer. To take advantage of the position – which has dramatic views over the city and towards the new Guthrie Theater, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel – the architectural team removed the single door that opened onto the

roof terrace and replaced it with floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors. “As well as creating a strong feature in the apartment, these doors help to link the indoor and outdoor living spaces. A canopy, in the same material as the canopy over the kitchen, was then built over part of the terrace to give definition to the outdoor room in the larger space and to provide shade, as the apartment gets all-day sun from the south and east,” says the architect. “Our objective was to keep the space serene, well proportioned and well crafted. “


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Project architect: Thomas Meyer, AIA, Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle (MS&R) (Minneapolis, MN) Project designer: Kristilyn Vercruysse, Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle Interior designer: Jodi Gillespie ASID Kitchen designer: Emily Little, Valcucine Minneapolis Kitchen cabinetry: Valcucine Living room cabinetry: Fritz Cabinetry & Furniture Builder: Chuck Peterson, Streeter & Associates Doors and windows: Dark bronze anodized finish from Fleetwood Windows & Doors Exterior pavers: Charcoal Prest Pavers from Hanover Architectural Products Custom leather wall panels: Rochford Upholstery Fireplace: Spark Modern Fires Kitchen countertops and fire surround: Custom metal by LSV Metals Paints: Benjamin Moore in Segovia Red and Vanilla Milkshake Lighting: Track lighting from Jesco; WAC Sofa: Extra Wall by Living Divani, upholstered in Abrigo by Christopher Farr Cloth Rug: Custom wool and silk by Odegard Dining table: Custom design with John Beck Paper & Steel Dining chairs: Metropolitan from B&B Italia Motorized blinds: Contemporary Blind Design Kitchen cabinets: Dark grain oak (main); stainless steel finish aluminum (wall) Oven, dishwasher: Miele Refrigeration: Bosch Oven: Wolf Kitchen ceiling and terrace panels: Stainless steel metal perforated panels from LSV Metals Story by Mary Webb Photography by Andrea Rugg

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Right: The terrace opens up to the dining area through full-height glass sliding doors. A stainless steel canopy, which matches the canopy over the kitchen, provides shade from the sun for one section of the terrace. The grille, supported by a metal frame, is made from closely spaced sheets of steel, allowing water and air to pass through. Charcoal black pavers are compatible with the fireplace and window frames, and smooth black rocks create variety and texture.