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Roch. architect + Dream Homes book

Roch. architect + Dream Homes book
Roch. architect + Dream Homes book

Ask Teresa McCormack of The Urban Studio what her architectural style is and she’ll tell you she doesn’t have one.

"It is all about working with the clients to help them achieve what they want," the Rochester architect says.

That work earned her a place in a new book called "Dream Homes Minnesota," which profiled her and some of her projects in Rochester. The book, published in January, includes 34 individual or pairs of Minnesota designers and architects.

McCormack formed The Urban Studio in 2003 after leaving the Rochester office of Hammel Green and Abrahamson (HGA). She has assembled a four-person team that handles residential as well as commercial projects.

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While she says she does not have a "design signature," the book cites her projects as featuring "abundant natural light — a necessity during long Minnesota winters — and using familiar base materials in an exceptional fashion."

McCormack’s work featured in the coffee-table book includes a home she designed for a man who became a paraplegic in an accident. The challenge was to create a home that reflected the man’s love for the outdoors as well as being accessible throughout the building.

"We wanted it to reflect his passion for skiing, so we created it with a chalet-like feel," she said.

It includes a large deck and windows to allow the homeowner to appreciate fully the home’s scenic location.

"Located atop a hill, this fully accessible residence provides views for miles and … glows like a lantern at sunset" is how the residence is described in the book.

McCormack does not design alone. She works closely with intern Nicole Pierson. Pierson designed a loft apartment featured in the book that is close to her’s and McCormack’s office.

The loft is in the historic downtown Rochester building where The Urban Studio has its offices. The 100-year-old building is also owned by Pierson and her husband, Nels.

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"Dream Homes Minnesota" includes this passage about the apartment: "… the renovation highlights the contrasts of new finishes in a 100-year-old space."

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