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Unconventional Architecture

Architecture does not have to fit into a formal mold or category. Often the projects that we are most excited and curious about step outside the realm of traditional, static architecture and explore new ways of thinking and living. The body of AWH projects explore a wide range of scales and ideas, and we are energized by projects that elevate people and our planet while challenging standard approaches to architecture. None of our work is inherently conventional because of our custom approach to every project. But, there are projects that stand out as unconventional. These projects question the possibilities of a site and the systems in play. Can Minnesota schoolyard become a year-round community garden? Can a sunshade produce energy and manage rainwater? Can a sauna have wheels? These are all questions that we’ve proved are possible. AWH is always searching for new projects that question conventional architecture.


Surly Sauna

The Surly Sauna is a thoughtfully crafted, mobile sanctuary. By blending traditional cabin vernacular with modern details, the Surly Sauna feels at home in the north country and city. Sitting on a self leveling hydraulic trailer the sauna is able to connect with all the landscapes it visits and create a pop-up destination of rejuvenation.

Solar Pavilion

Situated between the bath house and the Sandcastle eatery, the Nokomis Solar Pavilion provides an area of respite while also generating energy. The 7kW TenK Solar Array sits atop a custom steel structure and frames the entry onto the beach. Beach goers can enjoy a bit of shade while marveling over the shadow patterns cast by the array.

Bailey Lauerman

The Bailey Lauerman workplace design centers around creating a clear and cohesive environment with a variety of places to gather, work, converse, present and create. One can stand and work, sit alone, be in a lab with others or sit in an indoor park and soak in the sun. Adding interior green space adds life to the workplace.

Tiny Diner

The Tiny Diner sought a different level to the locavores, farm to table, and regionalism wave —take it off of the grid and grow a majority of the produce onsite. The Tiny Diner, with its solar canopy, collects power from the sun, as well as rainwater, and directs it to the site’s various gardens. At the same time, it covers the large outdoor seating area.

Edison Green Campus

Edison High School was transformed into a model green campus with state of the art energy efficiency and stormwater systems. A new entry and educational space was created with a massive solar array, storm water collection and treatment, community garden, greenhouse, and concession stand.