This Glass House and "Shiny Shed" Merge With Nature in Minnesota

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Expansive glass walls and a reflective mirrored shed blissfully blend this home with its natural setting.

Minneapolis–based firm ALTUS Architecture + Design have designed a unique 2,850-square-foot residence in Woodland, Minnesota, by marrying glass-house architecture with a reflective "shiny" shed. The single-story property is primed for tranquility, as it sits on a peaceful woodland plateau and overlooks a lush wetland, as well as a calming lake in the distance.

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Plenty of natural light is brought into the home thanks to the high glazed walls.

Plenty of natural light is brought into the home thanks to the high glazed walls.

The post-and-beam home's exterior structure is comprised of dark-stained cedar wood and glass that rests atop a stone base. 

The house is sited on a wooded plateau overlooking a wetland and lake beyond.

The house is sited on a wooded plateau overlooking a wetland and lake beyond.

Here's a look at the entry to a corridor that leads to the bedroom wing.

Here's a look at the entry to a corridor that leads to the bedroom wing.

Within this highly transparent façade are three wood-clad wings connected by corridors. The floor-to-ceiling windows frame the dramatic outdoor landscape and bring an abundance of light into the living areas. 

Artwork hangs along the walls of the hallway that connect the wings.

Artwork hangs along the walls of the hallway that connect the wings.

The open-plan kitchen, living room, and dining area are located in the largest wing.

The open-plan kitchen, living room, and dining area are located in the largest wing.

The largest wing includes an open-plan kitchen, living room, and dining area. This space is connected to a shaded patio with a pergola, as well as an office than can also be used as a guest room. 

A patio with a pergola is accessible via the living room.

A patio with a pergola is accessible via the living room.

The glossy white kitchen gives the open-plan living space a clean and modern look.

The glossy white kitchen gives the open-plan living space a clean and modern look.

A freestanding cube, which contains the laundry room and bathroom, acts as a buffer that separates the living and dining area in the western side of the wing from the office and wine room to the eastern side. 

A glass-encased wine storage system lets the owners to select specific bottles with ease.

A glass-encased wine storage system lets the owners to select specific bottles with ease.

White walls, walnut floors, exposed wooden beams, minimalist wood cabinetry, a bluestone and blackened steel fireplace, as well as a glass-encased wine storage system give the area a warm, contemporary look. 

In the master bedroom, a wooden accent wall with coat hooks on one side serves as a partition for the bed.

In the master bedroom, a wooden accent wall with coat hooks on one side serves as a partition for the bed.

The bathroom has a large window that frames tree views.

The bathroom has a large window that frames tree views.

The western wing is where the master bedroom, den, and bathroom are located, and the eastern wing houses a two-car garage.

The shed's mirrored surface reflects delightfully distorted images of the natural surroundings.

The shed's mirrored surface reflects delightfully distorted images of the natural surroundings.

To the north of the master bedroom is the detached storage shed with exterior walls covered in mirrored panels. 

The mirror-clad shed gives the property a sense of constant movement.

The mirror-clad shed gives the property a sense of constant movement.

This shiny shed merges with the surrounding forest to reflect surreal, distorted images of the trees, which creates a sense of dynamism. 

The secluded site allows the design to focus on a high level of transparency.

The secluded site allows the design to focus on a high level of transparency.

Elements of modernism has been integrated within the design of this Minnesota residence.

Elements of modernism has been integrated within the design of this Minnesota residence.

A quick peek at the floor plan drawing.

A quick peek at the floor plan drawing.

Project Credits:

Architecture, lighting and interior design: ALTUS Architecture + Design

Builder: Streeter & Assocaites

Structural engineering: Stroh Engineering

Landscape design: Travis VanLiere

Cabinetry: ALTUS Architecture + Design and Steven Cabinets

Pergola: Great Northern Woodworks

Metal panels for the shed: AllStar Construction