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.
We all live in the same house, we all must be part of the effort to hold down our little house. When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just… do something about it. Say something. Have the courage. Have the backbone. Get in the way. Walk with the wind. It’s all going to work out. - John Lewis
AWH architects strives to do value-driven work, advocate for sustainability, rehabilitate historic structures, and engage in a collaborative process. To empower our clients, our communities, and our climate we prioritize healthy and open communication.
We acknowledge that the segregation and inequality present today in our shared cities is made possible by architecture’s efforts. The deeply ingrained privilege and white, male, homogeneity in both academia and the profession has aligned architecture with profit-driven gentrification, neo-colonialism, and the marginalization of communities of color.
Now is the time to challenge architecture’s complicity with oppression, and realign our efforts to prioritize justice and equality through our work; To combat the blight of unattainable housing, the lack of access to public spaces, and unhealthy environmental building standards; To throw off the shroud of pessimism, fear, and complacency, by committing ourselves to a sustained fight for equity. The work ahead of us is difficult, but we know that there is no other way forward.
Our first step in this fight as a firm is our commitment is our collective, sustained contributions to the organizations we linked below. We admire these organizations for their commitment to making a real difference at the local scale.
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
awards + press
2021 - AIA MN Commendation for Excellence in Design for Well-Being
2020 - Architecture MN Cover
2020 - Minnesota Climate Adaption Awards - Guardian Building
2019 - Biz Journal's Cool Office Spaces - Bold Orange
2018 - Minnesota Preservation Impact Award Winner - Maytag
2017 - Winner of 2017 Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Award for Historic Restoration, Rehabilitation, or Adaptive Reuse Project - Hewing
2017 - Winner of 2017 Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Honor Award - Hewing
2016 - Q&A: Green Architect Alex Haecker
2016 - Architects on Building a Better City
2016 - Restoring a century-old Linden Hills landmark, Lake Harriet Spiritual Community is fixing up its historic home
2016 - Wildly imaginative music room creates rockin' space for house concerts
2014 - Modern office designs for fast-growing creative companies that (super)power their work cultures, mono: A cultural vibe of organizational meritocracy
2021 AIA MN Commendation for Excellence in Design for Well-Being
2018 Contract Design Interiors Award for Historic Preservation (Hewing Hotel)
2007 AIA Honor Award (Urban Outfitters)
2007 AIA MN Honor Award (Urban Outfitters)
2007 National Trust for Historic Preservation Award (Urban Outfitters)
2007 Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence (Urban Outfitters)
2014 Mono –Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Best In Real Estate Award
2007 Carmichael Lynch Headquarters –Minneapolis, Repositioning NAIOP Nominee