Cost-conscious cube home in St. Paul wins architecture award - KMSP-TV

Cost-conscious cube home in St. Paul wins architecture award

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Daniel Yudchitz recently decided it was time to save some money, ditch the apartment lifestyle and build a home of his own. Now, the young architect is getting a lot of buzz for his unconventional design.

Inside the urban core of St. Paul's Rondo neighborhood, there are plenty of colorful, spacious older homes to be found -- and then there's Yudchitz's, which exudes style and gives reason to pause and stare.

"The lot actually ended up costing about $6,300, so it was a good, cost-effective start to this project," he said.

Yudchitz broke ground on a corner of the neighborhood in 2011, and he is the mastermind behind the 1,000-sqare foot home stacked as a 24-by-24 foot cube.

The design is chic outside and in. Modern and comforting, a courtyard connects the home to a two-car garage. As you head back inside, the floors are 10-inch thick concrete slabs that kiss glass doors standing 8 feet tall.

"That's because you want thermal mass that will heat up during the day in the wintertime and radiate heat during the night," explained Yudchitz.

The home took a year to build, and now sits pretty at six months old.

"It's kind of hard to put a true price on it, but it did end up costing about $160,000," Yudchitz calculated.

In November 2012, the American Institute of Architects decided all of Daniel's hard work earned him something fancy to decorate his new place with -- a Minnesota Honor Award.

"As architects, we sort of have a responsibility to build something of our time, something that relates to the economy, the culture, kind of what's going on right now," nodded Yudchitz.

The kitchen quarters boast an "All Black Everything" theme, and a bathroom with a concrete floor is tucked right behind it.

"If it's not needed, it was sort of questioned and taken away," chuckled Yudchitz.

Upstairs, an office and a bedroom infuse the flexibility and creativity the young architect has built his life on.

"The walls upstairs are actually removable, and you can reconfigure it so it can be a one-bedroom, a two-bedroom or a no-bedroom," he explained.

A moveable plywood wall makes this possible, which also helped him get the loan he needed to build. His original design was a little too unconventional for the bank. With the "flexible wall" installed, his home loan was secured.

To Yudchitz, the lofty cube is just a prototype -- a beginning of his role in building evolution.

"I'd like to think that this house is getting people to think what the possibilities could be," he said.

Yudchitz spends much of his time working at an architecture firm in Minneapolis. As for whether he will ever sell the home? He says yes because he's always looking for an excuse to build something new.

For more on Yudchitz, click here:


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