Rapson Redux

Designed by David O’Brien Wagner

with Jared Banks

Originally designed by Ralph Rapson, FAIA (1914 – 2008), the owners required additional living space and book storage for their 1960’s era home. They requested a thoughtful integration of interior space with the surrounding Japanese garden and a sensitive approach to the original architecture.

Linking an external garage to the original house allows for a library space to inhabit the footprint of the former garage. Inside the library, new fenestrations emphasize an initiate connection with the garden outside.

The new garage embraces a landscaped courtyard, allowing the entry sequence to unfold, thus revealing the link between the old and the new. The link – a glass void – gives visual connection from one garden to the next.

At the garage, a cedar rain screen presents an ordered skin that reinterprets the taut regularity of the home’s original tongue-and-groove redwood. Like the old siding, the cedar is untreated and will weather over time, uniting the new with the old.

Construction by Northstar Remodeling
Photographs by Troy Thies
2012 AIA Honor Award
2011 AIA MN/MplsStPaul Magazine RAVE Award
Architecture MN, March/April 2013
MplsStPaul Magazine, July 2011
StarTribune, October 2010