This newly built home by Shelter Architects fits into an existing urban lot one block from the Mississippi River in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. After house construction was complete the site provided a blank canvas to replicate the historical ecology of the area. With two mature trees on site–the most notable a massive Burr oak–a modern, yet rustic savanna planting scheme took shape.

The clean lines and modern architecture were softened by the planting of 1,300 native plants for a 100% reduction of traditional lawn. A raised boardwalk suspended above the plantings creates the feeling of walking in a park and allows the viewer to see the structure of the plantings and associated pollinators from a different vantage point. In addition the yard includes a small rain garden, small veggie area, cooking area and dining space, and a “rustic” fire pit to balance the modern aesthetic.