light from both sides

The springboard for Salmela’s sole practice was a renovation for photographer Jim Brandenburg. High windows on the south facade fill the room with light, while low north-facing windows offer penetrating views of the wilderness.

The approach to Ravenwood studio cuts through a wall of dry-laid taconite and continues into the heart of the complex, which is clustered like a tiny Scandinavian village.

A pair of twin beds in the guest room frames a delicate wooden stair leading to a loft.

The sauna's simple geometry is complemented by an unassuming sod roof and cabinet-like interior woodwork.

The sauna's simple geometry is complemented by an unassuming sod roof and cabinet-like interior woodwork.

Salmela’s scheme for Peter and Cindy Emerson’s home blended traditional imagery with a modern sensibility and a deft manipulation of scale.

The architect returned nearly a decade later to design a sauna, located just yards away from the house.

Jackson Meadow has proved to be an architect’s dream—the chance to design all the houses in a new community developed on virgin land. Repetitive forms and a limited palette of materials keep the houses affordable, although each has a unique profile and layout.

The riverfront facade yields a much different image.

The compound frames a courtyard ringed with a stone wall and trellis.

Sited on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, the Albrecht residence is a clever act of prestidigitation: a cubist modern building wedged between two bookends with steeply pitched roofs.

Occupants of the lakefront Matthew cabin are rewarded with views afforded by a second-floor screened porch.

Salmela linked the three buildings in a layered composition of walls and trellises that claim outside space as part of the house.

The stark rectangular side walls of Bruce Golob and Jean Freeman’s Wisconsin cabin conceal the low-sloped roofs of the residence and its companion guest house. Salmela manipulated the scale of the building site with a towering outdoor fireplace.

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