We are architects that acknowledge architecture’s past and present as predominantly white, male profession. The profession, and our firm, has been complicit in profit-driven gentrification, the segregation of our shared cities, and the resulting marginalization of communities of color. This segregation and inequality we have contributed to building is directly responsible for the violence and fear communities of color face on a daily basis. Racist militarized policing, mass incarceration, unattainable housing, a complete lack of access to public health, and the silence of the privileged are daily actions of oppression that are supported by the built environment, planned and designed by architects. We are architects committed to embracing the recent upheaval that has gripped the Twin Cities as a call to action to reinvigorate a commitment to justice and equality through our work.
AWH Architects is driven by curiosity and commitment. We navigate the world with a passion for creative exploration and recognize the need to preserve the integrity of the existing environment, both built and natural. Our ideas are nourished by the diversity of our experiences outside of the studio, but our best ideas evolve with collaboration. Unlike larger architecture firms, the AWH team clients meet are the same people who take the care to visit the site, form the design concepts, produce the drawings, and move the project forward. Our process is streamlined and tailored to each individual project. The scale of our firm allows us to be flexible in approach and accessible to clients. At AWH we hope to work with people who are forward thinkers that empower us to discover creative solutions that go beyond the standard designs big architecture firms deliver.
Since 2011, AWH Architects has completed a wide range of architectural projects from our office in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The unifying thread between each project is our project-specific solutions and sustainable approach. With expertise in adaptive reuse, historic preservation, and the integration of solar energy production, the AWH team continues to challenge the possibilities of architecture and thoughtfully conserve what is already built. AWH has the experience and insight to confidently and efficiently make your architectural ambitions a reality.
Founded on the principle of reusing what we have, AWH pursues adaptive reuse and historic building rehabilitation as a way to combat unnecessary loss of our collective cultural heritage and embodied energy inherent in existing buildings. Our designers find inspiration from researching the layers of history and programs that older buildings embody. We take care to honor the existing story and structure while converting buildings for contemporary uses.
Our process is centralized around understanding the needs of our clients to discern how they inhabit existing spaces. We search for the design solutions that elevate our client's expectations and respect the building itself. To form our designs, we interweave the potential of the existing structure, with our client's needs and modern sustainable design practices. We understand the issues and how to navigate the often complicated road of entitlements and how to balance conservation with contemporary codes. AWH Architects’ in-house Historic Consulting Services can lead clients through the different resources available from tax credits, grants, and incentives.
AWH is committed to creating sustainable solutions and has specific expertise in solar design. With every project, we assess the best way to integrate onsite energy production, utilize passive solar design, and harmonize the landscape with site and structure. Our approach to architecture starts with gathering an understanding of the existing, both built and natural. With that insight, we form our designs to complement the natural environment and harness the energy that is already coming to the site naturally.
Solar energy is the most abundant and cleanest renewable energy resource. AWH has been incorporating solar power into our designs since AWH Architects beginning. We have become regional architectural experts, with close connections within the local solar industry. AWH has recently worked with the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board to complete five solar installs for the park system. Going beyond the sustainable benefits of onsite energy production, we aim to incorporate the systems in elegant ways and artfully celebrate the collection of onsite solar energy.
A well-designed workplace environment is one of the most direct ways a business can invest in its employee's wellbeing and productivity. Intentional and inviting work environments can prompt new ideas, create exciting opportunities for collaboration, and raise the caliber of professional pride. AWH approaches every new workplace project with an open mind and creates design solutions that embody and reflect the true character of each individual business. One design does not fit all. We look beyond flashy trends and we learn from the people who will be using the space to tailor the environment to best represent the company and their goals.
The place you call home should represent your truest self. AWH listens closely to their clients to create custom spaces that instinctively feel like home. When designing a house, whether from the ground up, adding to an existing structure, or adapting a building, AWH always puts the client and environment needs first. AWH does not conform to a standard architectural style. With every project we assess many existing and potential factors to develop a design custom for each client and site. We investigate local vernacular and the layers of history to create structures that compliment the neighborhood and honor the past.
We incorporate in-house historic consulting into our architectural services and offer historic consulting as an independent service. Historic consulting goes hand in hand with our adaptive reuse and historic preservation work. Having the AWH team work directly with the historic research and tax credits streamlines the process and informs our designs to acknowledge and honor the history of the building. Our mission to best serve our clients and our inherent curiosity led us to become experts in historic tax credit consulting. Alex Haecker was a commissioner on the Heritage Preservation Commission Board and has a multifaceted perspective of how projects are reviewed