Hall House, Duluth, Minn.
Salmela Architect
Duluth, Minn.

Rooted in ledge rock and floating beyond its old footprint, this house evokes Italian hill town construction. “We’re building on top of the ruins of the previous culture, magnifying the things they built that could be kept permanent,” says David Salmela, FAIA. In fact, Italian immigrants once lived on this land, part of an urban development project overlooking Duluth and the shipping harbor. Salmela saved the existing 1888 house’s foundation, retaining walls, and site stairs (all stained white), adding simple masonry piers to support the addition.

Glass walls, slatted pergolas, and diagonal bracing read as faceted layers in the open-plan house, which is clad in maintenance-free Richlite and cedar, like the surrounding homes. “It’s a raggedy Modernism, almost like an improvisation on a structure,” a judge said. “It’s rambling but pure in plan.”

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Project Credits

Principal in charge: David Salmela, FAIA
General contractor: Brad Holmes, Rod & Sons Carpentry, Gilbert, Minn.
Structural engineer: Paul Johnson, Meyer | Borgman | Johnson, Duluth, Minn.
Project size: 2,424 square feet
Site size: 0.23 acre
Construction cost: $233 per square foot
Photography: Paul Crosby

Product Details

Bathroom cabinets: Custom by Rod & Sons Carpentry rodandsonscarpentryinc.com
Bathroom fittings: Dornbracht dornbracht.com
Bathroom fixtures: Duravit duravit.us
Cooktop: Wolf subzero-wolf.com
Countertops: Custom, Mesabi granite
Dishwasher: Fisher Paykel fisherpaykel.com
Doors: H Window Company hwindow.com
Exterior siding: Richlite richlite.com
Flooring: (Stone) Vermont Evergreen Slate Company
Hardware: Hafele hafele.com/us
HVAC: Buderus buderus.us;Amtrol amtrol.com;Unico System unicosystem.com;Lifebreath lifebreath.com
Insulation: Dense-pack cellulose with TUFF-R dow.com
Kitchen cabinets: Custom by Rod & Sons Carpentry rodandsonscarpentryinc.com
Kitchen fittings: Dornbracht dornbracht.com
Kitchen fixtures: Duravit duravit.us
Oven: Viking vikingrange.com
Refrigerator: Liebherr liebherr.us
Roofing: EPDM
Skylights: Velux veluxusa.com
Windows: H Window Company hwindow.com