Christopher Strom Architects Launches Second Suite to Provide Custom Residential Architectural Design Suited to Minneapolis’ New Zoning

Dec 9, 2014, Minneapolis, MN --- Christopher Strom Architects announces Second Suite (, a new offering that incorporates recent changes to Minneapolis zoning regulations with custom architectural design.

Firm founder
Christopher Strom, a licensed architect, has designed custom residences in the Twin Cities area for over a decade. Strom is defining a Second Suite as a smaller, permanent secondary residence on a city lot with a dedicated kitchen and bathroom. Occupants of a Second Suite can enjoy multi-generational living while maintaining independence and privacy from the primary home.

Expansion in the city
Until December 5, 2014, the City of Minneapolis zoning regulations did not allow for this type of structure, commonly referred to as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). Since early 2014, Strom has worked closely with city officials to address the needs of residents who want to stay in the city but need to expand living space in the sustainable, manageable way ADU’s make possible. Now the amended zoning allows Minneapolis residents to build new, separate living quarters on their property.

Second Suite: A Cost-Effective Alternative
Minneapolis now joins the ranks of other cities like Washington, D.C., Toronto, Seattle and Portland that have adopted zoning laws to accommodate AUD’s. Strom says, “We’re seeing new, progressive zoning across the country in response to the increasing demand for a cost-effective alternative to an apartment or even an assisted living facility.” Typically grandparents or adult children live in these spaces, but some owners also use a “second suite”-type building as rental property, a separate home office, or studio space.

Whatever the reason for a building of this type, Strom believes well-considered design needs to play a role in the creation of these structures in our city.  He says, “Architects understand the new complexities of zoning regulations and can assist a homeowner in ‘building-to-blend’ with an existing residence or creating something entirely modern and different.”
​Strom says, “The Second Suite represents a lifestyle that I want to be able to deliver to my clients. This lifestyle is about families pooling resources and enjoying more quality time together through care-giving that enables grandparents to help with childcare and adult children to help with aging parents.”

About Christopher Strom Architects

Christopher Strom has 15 years of architectural experience and knowledge of Minneapolis residential zoning code; serving as advisor to city zoning staff for recent Minneapolis residential code changes including the adoption of the Minneapolis Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance. Strom has received awards and recognition from B.L.E.N.D., community-based awards for homes that blend seamlessly into their neighborhoods; Mpls-St.Paul Magazine RAVE Awards and The Star Tribune Home of the Month selections. Recently, the American Institute of Architects Minnesota and Midwest Home Magazine announced Strom as the 2014 Emerging Talent for his unique design solutions. Find more information on the firm at and more details on Strom Architects’ Second Suite program at Follow the firm on social media at and Twitter @Strom_Architect.