801 Washington Loft Residents


Minneapolis, MN


Under $70k


Nine months from design to installation and fabrication.

Completion Date



Dresser Trap Rock
‘Degroots” Spire Aborvitae

The 801 Washington Lofts are located in the historic Minneapolis warehouse district. Originally built in 1913 the building served industrial purposes until it was redesigned by architect Garth Rockcastle (the R in local firm MSR) who still calls the building home. The interior is filled with light and warm original wood beams with simple material gestures that point to minimalism’s connection to utilitarianism.

RO/LU was hired to reinvent the residents unusually large exterior space. A “backyard” of sorts almost the size of a city park. The residents wanted to use the space for private alone time, small groups socializing as well as large groups for political functions and even movie screenings. As is often the case, the budget had to be used efficiently.

We envisioned a large outdoor room with a pergola, a great lawn for picnics and gatherings, raised beds for gardens and plantings that left things feeling open and organized. We used simple clear, materials that reflected the basic, thoughtful approach of the interior… welded wire mesh for ivy covered walls, corrugated fiberglass panels that bring lightness to the space by being more opaque than wood, steel, high-volume fly ash concrete etc.

We loved how it turned out and were super happy to see a huge Pride rally held in the space in which MN Governor Mark Dayton spoke.

Landscapes and Environments


A modern, low maintenance, functional space for residents to use—flexible enough that it would serve as a quiet place to read alone on a nice day, a gentle environment for a dinner party, all the way to a Pride rally with hundreds of guests and a speech by Gov Mark Dayton—all on an efficient budget.

Previous Next
Up Down


In what ways
are we all
each other?