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Cowles Farmhouse

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    • new additions incorporate a variety of outdoor living spaces, including a porch, terrace, and sleeping porch
    • Overview

      “This renovated farmstead, in all its white-sided, vernacular quietude, epitomizes why we dream of the country.”—Architecture Minnesota

      This project subtly transforms 160 acres of farmland and original farm buildings into a relaxed and private family retreat. Restored to native prairie grasses, the land surrounds a pond created in an eroded ravine at the edge of the farmland. With the addition of the pond—along with the removal of a shed and unneeded driveway areas—the farmland has become the central organizing space. Loosely arranged around the yard and among the existing compound of structures lie a new garden, orchard, tennis court, car shed, and chicken coop converted into an office. Three additions to the farmhouse add to this casual ensemble.

    • the yard combines a number of buildings, including a chicken coop converted into an office
    • the landscape is designed to complement the outdoor living spaces
    • interior living spaces open on to outdoor living spaces, blending inside and out
    • the entry porch features a stone floor designed by the clients' artist son
    • located within the renovated farmhouse, the main living space centers on a fireplace
    • Specifications

      Location: Shafer, Minnesota

      Type: Renovation/expansion

      Size: 1,500 square feet (renovation); 3,000 square feet (expansion)

    • Awards

      AIA Minnesota Honor Award.

    • Project Contact

      Thomas Meyer

      • Architect / Principal
      • thomas@msrdesign.com
      • 612 359 3222
      • View Bio