Min | Day Architects: Rethinking the Retreat House

Min | Day Architects: Rethinking the Retreat House

Sarah Coffey
May 4, 2011
  • Location: multiple locations
  • Website: minday.com

Store History

  • Founded by: E.B. Min and Jeffrey Day
  • Headquarters: San Francisco and Omaha

We first discovered Min | Day Architects in 2009, when their Iowa Lake House won two AIA Awards: one for its overall design, and one for the amazing cabinet/headboard shown above. Since then, they've continued to impress us by designing casual, laid-back getaways that seem simple on the surface, but on closer inspection reveal smart ideas that apply beyond the vacation home vernacular.

In an unusual arrangement, Min | Day maintains offices in San Francisco and Omaha. While not exactly the architectural capital of the US, we're guessing that Omaha's distinct landscape provides a point of view that most firms in New York, Chicago, or LA don't have access to, and it seems to have led to a body of work that draws on unpretentious American forms — like farmhouses, tool sheds, and flood walls.

All their projects — including apartments and homes in dense urban areas — have a feeling of expansiveness. If you follow the thread through their work, this open, airy quality is usually achieved with smart built-in storage walls and flexible cabinetry that serves multiple purposes. For example, the mud room in their Sonoma County farm house includes a spacious central bench that anchors the room, contains shoe storage, and serves as seating. For more information and portfolio photos, check out MinDay.com.

House on Lake Okoboji, Iowa
Palo Alto Pool House
Sonoma Farm House

Photos: Min | Day Architects

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