The Design Process


Schematic Design

This work consists of an inspection of the site and conferences with the client concerning the building program. The client's needs and requirements are carefully analyzed. Zoning regulations and codes affecting the work are studied. Sketches and statements of probable construction cost are prepared for the owner's approval.

Design Development

Upon approval of the Schematic Design the architect proceeds with the development of the plans and elevations of the building. Type of construction, mechanical systems, and materials are considered and recommendations discussed with the owner. Drawings establishing all major elements and outline specifications are prepared. A revised statement of probable construction cost is made. All of this material is then submitted for approval.

Working Drawings

Working drawings and specifications are finalized and all work is coordinated with mechanical layouts. Material and color schedules are prepared and assistance is given in drafting contract forms. Cost statements are reviewed and approval obtained from the owner and from controlling agencies.

Construction Phase

The architect assists in qualifying bidders and obtaining proposals. He analyzes the proposals received, advises relative to the award of contracts, and assists in the preparation of such contracts. During the construction period, the architect reviews and approves shop drawings as may be required, and reviews contractors' requests for payment. He makes periodic visits to the site to determine if the work is proceeding in accordance with the contract documents, and keeps his client informed relative to the progress and quality of construction, issues contract change orders as required, makes final inspection, and when construction is determined to be satisfactorily completed, issues a certificate to that effect.

Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice

  1. Volume I, Chapter 5



Easter Preschool

2014 Renovation

20 Years of Building Foundations!

Easter Preschool

Easter Lutheran Church

One of my favorite memories from Easter Preschool is walking hand in hand with my daughter, Siri, across the parking lot, to the corner entrance, through the vestibule, as she would let go of my hand, and run down the long hallway to see Alicia and her new friends! She couldn't wait! Isn't that what parents wish for their children? I had many quality conversations with Alicia, staff, and friends. For early learners we studied multiple schemes and we are all excited to revitalize Easter Preschool with new color, redefined space, bright lights, and creative energy. For early learners, for Easter Lutheran Church, and for our community we want to make a great first impression! Good design makes a difference. In faith we plant a seed and have no idea how many ways it will grow and flourish!

Rolf Lokensgard, former Easter Preschool Parent, Rolf Lokensgard Architecture

The Nordic House was recently published in Sweden, 'Svensk Dam Tidning'.

Thanks, Rolf, for laying down over the railroad track. I hope the grooves in your back are neither deep nor permanent. As you know, owners care deeply about follow-through. You're da' man! Like that thing about the punch list; we thought your procedure was just brilliant. It's always nice when you can look good at the end of a project. Congratulations.


Solid Rock Foundation | Sense of Place
The art of Rolf Lokensgard is exhibited in Fireside Commons, Easter Lutheran Church showing drawings, renderings, and design from a solid rock foundation/family, church, education to a sense of place/design, goals, and faith. October 20 - December 20, 2010.

Abide Idea Company

Golden Valley, Minnesota

"My experience in working with Rolf was a pleasure from beginning to end. Rolf was able to think about our situation and needs in a way that I would have not been able to, and offered multiple creative solutions that never made me feel boxed-in. Now that the project is complete, I am amazed at how the new space works, and at how Rolf was able to visualize this from the beginning. I would not hesitate to engage his services in the future."

--George Abide, President

   Abide Idea Company

Home Swede Home
"We always look forward to coming home."

In Memory

Bob Swalve "Bob the Builder", TrueLine Builders, LTD
I had the distinct honor of knowing and working with Bob, a friend and colleague. We worked Intogether for over ten years on many projects from Plymouth to Summit. Bob always treated his clients as number one, never spoke negatively, always positive, and always fair. If there was ever a problem at the job site, he would strap on his tool belt and fix it. When he called, he never had to say who was calling, just "Hey Rolf" and I always knew it was Bob. His faith was strong, he loved his family, and had pride in his work. Hey, Bob.
From Bob's funeral:
"And we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose."
--Romans 8:28

2008 Dedication
Fireside Commons and Spiritual Resource Library
Easter Lutheran Church Eagan, Minnesota
At the Dedication, Rolf was given a steel rule with the following words engraved, "To the Glory of God and in Appreciation of Rolf Lokensgard, Fireside Commons, Easter Lutheran Church, January 13, 2008"
Unless the Lord builds the house, Those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.
--Psalms 127:1
By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established.
--Proverbs 24:3

2007 Minneapolis Preservation Awards - Day Block  With CityDesk Studio
The Day Block Building received an award for adaptive reuse of an historic property for 2007. The awards jury was comprised of six professionals representing the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission and the Minneapolis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The HPC is grateful for preservation-consciousness, hard work, and efforts to carry the legacy and heritage of Minneapolis into a better future.

"A retooled Day Block among Preservation Award winners"  --Linda Mack, Star Tribune Thursday May 17, 2007

What do three celebrated architects in town to jury the 2005 AIA Minnesota Honor Awards do on their night off? Architecture Minnesota's resident wit, Phillip Glenn Koski, AIA, has the scoop
Dateline: November 17, 2005
Jurors Dine and Tell
After deliberating the 2005 AIA Minnesota Honor Awards, jurors Lawrence Scarpa, Kirk Blunck, and Karen Van Lengen retreated with a small local AIA delegation to Restaurant Alma, a highbrow epicurean haven nestled in the penumbra of the University of Minnesota campus . . .
Architecture Minnesota March/April

Work Aesthetic
"Flexible light-filled offices rule the day. Who knew work could be so enjoyable? From the new and luminescent to the historic and character-filled to the exceedingly eco-friendly, these office designs brighten the workday considerably."
Pipe Dream: Day Block Renovation
Architecture Minnesota November/December 2006

Organic Style: transformation of a speedboat factory into the elegant bistro, Restaurant Alma
Architecture Minnesota July/August 2003
Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Award 1999
The Blue Ribbon Building, 530 University Ave SE
Register of Historic Places
Minneapolis, Minnesota

David told me about the Preservation Award your fire station renovation won, and I just wanted to offer my congratulations. Of course, we think our house is worthy of an award as well. This morning when I went out to get the paper I looked back at the house and was struck by how lovely it is, how well it works with our new landscape, and how happy we are with how it all turned out. Thanks again for your delightful design.
--Laurie Miller

Certificate of Recognition 1998
Easter Preschool
Eagan, Minnesota

Certificate of Recognition 1996
Dakota County Mentor Program

CUE Award (Committee on Urban Environment) 1987
Bardwell-Ferrant House Apartments
Register of Historic Places
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Given to propose aesthetic guidelines for the built environment, to improve what is drab, preserve what is natural, and protect what is beautiful. It is presented to projects which exemplify excellence and enhance the visual, cultural, or aesthetic quality of Minneapolis.

The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota
Certificate of Recognition 1987
Bardwell-Ferrant Apartments
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Best Expansion of an old Carnegie Library
Register of Historic Places
Hutchinson, Minnesota
David Inman, 1994

Best Renovation of a Historical Building
Pioneer Endicott Center
Register of Historic Places
St. Paul, Minnesota

Other Awards:
Member, American Institute of Architects
Member, AIA Minnesota
Licensed Architect, Minnesota Board of Architecture

Certified Interior Designer, Minnesota Board of Interior Design
Certified by National Council Architectural Registration Boards




To Rolf from Mathilda Sageng 2.20.86, my mother's friend.

Sarpsborg Lutheran Church, built in 1893 (see Religious Projects)

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" --Hebrews 13:8



Good to see you and thanks for your very thorough and informative presentation.

--M.G. Feb. 7, 2020


I was at the site yesterday and am just blown away at the design. Such a beautiful space already! Everyone is so excited and the construction is moving along rather quickly. 

--J.H., January 1, 2020

AIA 2020

Thank you for renewing your AIA membership!  You're an important part of a dynamic network of 94,000 architects and designers worldwide.  AIA is committed to uniting and advancing the profession.

Good Works

God does not need your good works, but your neighbor does.

--Martin Luther


There have been many visitors to the new Stuga since late May. Everyone has raved. Our response is always the same - thank goodness for Rolf! We would have never thought of all the nice features and colors, etc. etc. The framed stuga drawing is such a nice remembrance of our big plans. Thank you for this gift! Be Well,


July 12, 2017


Almost everyday I mention how much I love our remodel! You have blessed us many times over. Thank you for everything!!


We love our new sunroom. It has become our favorite place to relax in the entire house. Thanks for designing it for us!


December 2016

Construction Drawings

"We appreciate the detailed drawings and specifications, it is rare to see this level of organization and planning on a residence."

--Bidder, November 10, 2015

Rough Framing

"We were at the house just now checking out the new dining room wall. We're nuts for this house! The open space feels wonderful!"


October 16, 2015


The theme of this year's convention was impact, emphasizing the role architects play in their local and global communities.

"We look to nature, art, and history to push the limits and boundaries. We look within ourselves, and we look through the eyes of those who came before us. We listen to our clients and our hearts. We look up, because the world is counting on us to look ahead."

--Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA

2014 President Richard

The American Institute of Architects

Home offices that work

By Erica Rivera

Star Tribune homesunday

March 15, 2015

Five Twin Cities telecommuters blend practicality and personality in their home offices.


Kerri Miller, host of MPR's "The Daily Circuit" and Talking Volumes events, worked with a Scandinavian architect in 2002. The design reflects the clean-lined contemporary style that Miller fell in love with during a trip to Norway. The third-floor office, off the master bedroom, was in the blueprints from the beginning. The five hours she spends in her home office each day are golden. "That's when I do the maximum amount of work." Natural light was paramount for the space, which overlooks decks in two directions. The views are woodsy. Her large walkout deck acts as an extension of her office in summertime, when Miller strings lights outside and leaves the door to the office open. "It feels like I've got another room in the house."

Easter Preschool 20 Years of Building Foundations!

Revitalize Easter Preschool with fresh colors, redefined learning and gathering spaces, and an entrance that welcomes all! During the past twenty years over 2,000 children have been enriched by their experiences of learning through play at Easter Preschool. Rolf Lokensgard Architecture designed the 1997 school plan and the new 2014 renovation.

View Website

Contemplative Cabin

Overlooking the Mississippi River, a new contemplative cabin with kayaking, lookout, and reading a good book by the stove.

School of Architecture

Centennial Reunion Party at Ralph Rapson Hall

A great gathering of architects and 100 Years of Student Drawings and Centennial Chromagraph took place October 25, 2013.

Ski u mah!


The Nordic House was recently published in Sweden, 'Svensk Dam Tidning'.


View Article

Renew and Rebuild

"Oh What Fun! Celebrate the year and explore our office remodel."

Larson Engineering 2011 is renewed and refreshed by Rolf Lokensgard Architecture with a thirty-five year network of talented contractors and craftsmanship.

Solid Rock Foundation | Sense of Place

The art of Rolf Lokensgard is exhibited in Fireside Commons, Easter Lutheran Church showing drawings, renderings, and design from a solid rock foundation/ family, church, education to a sense of place/ design, goals, and faith. October 20 - December 20, 2010.

Home Swede Home

"An Eagan couple's home reflects their Scandinavian heritage inside and out, seamlessly mixing the Old World and the new."

New Year greetings from great clients:

January 11, 2010

"Thank you for the framed drawing of our addition. We continue to love all the new space and the layout. And I can't tell you how many nice comments we have gotten from the neighbors saying how it looks so nice from the outside and looks like it has always been part of the house."

January 1, 2009

"We weren't able to get our letter out before the end of 2008. You see, we just finished building on a new addition to our home. We added more space over the garage including two bedrooms and study and a mudroom on the back of the garage. We worked with a great architect and contractor, so everything went smoothly and surprisingly quickly. No horror stories to share and we are very happy to have the extra room..."

January 27, 2009

"Our house continues to be wonderful! It is such a pleasure to sit in the family room that is filled with light and views of the backyard. The kitchen is my favorite spot, and having the large island and lots of counter space lets us do lots of group cooking. Just this December, we hosted our annual Christmas dinner & Gingerbread House Decorating with our friends. After dinner, all of the kids decorated a subdivision (9 kids = 9 Gingerbread houses). Another day we baked and decorated cookies. And between Christmas & New Years, we held our 2nd Annual 'Gourmet' Dinner with our extended family - it was all so much fun, with many delicious kilocalories consumed! Best regards"

2008 Dedication

Fireside Commons and Spiritual Resource Library

Easter Lutheran Church

Eagan, Minnesota

Artist: Steve Wolff

Unless the Lord builds the house, Those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.

Psalms 127:1

By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established.

Proverbs 24:3

2007 Minneapolis Preservation Awards - Day Block With CityDesk Studio

"Congratulations! The Day Block has been selected to receive an award for adaptive reuse of an historic property for 2007. CPED-Planning received 23 nominations this year, the most in a long time. Earlier this week, CPED facilitated a review of all nominations with the awards jury which was comprised of six professionals representing the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission and the Minneapolis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Congratulations again. We are truly grateful for your preservation-consciousness, your hard work, and your efforts to carry the legacy and heritage of Minneapolis into a better future."


"A retooled Day Block among Preservation Award winners" --Linda Mack, Star Tribune Thursday May 17, 2007

At Restaurant Alma, a collaborative effort yields **** results.

It's a restaurant critic's plight. When someone I'm meeting for the first time finds out about the unorthodox way in which I make my living, here's what invariably happens: My brain turns into a download. As the opening credits of "60 Minutes" flash the stopwatch's tick-tick-tick, I count down the seconds--usually it's less than five--before my newfound friend asks, "What's your favorite restaurant?"

I hate to disappoint my new pal, but the answer never waivers: I have not one but many, depending on both my mood and, more important, on who's going to pick up the check. There are, however, several spots that occupy a permanent berth on my hit parade. One of them is Restaurant Alma.

Alma isn't for everyone. The bare tables, the sturdy commodity dinnerware, the wide-open kitchen and the staff's Casual Friday attire are comfortably honest rather than elegant. The deliberately leisurely pace may nudge Type A types into fidgety despair, and the sane portion sizes could send coupon-clippers back to their local all-you-dare-consume buffet. No matter. The word restaurant has its roots in restore, and alma is Spanish for soul. The name fits, like a glove.

-- Rick Nelson Taste/Star Tribune

Thursday July 6, 2006 excerpts

Parade of Homes Remodelors Showcase

October 14-16, 2005 Fri 1-7p, Sat & Sun 12-6p

1397 Summit Avenue

St. Paul, Minnesota

This Dutch Colonial was designed by Myrtus Wright and Charles Hausler in 1922 for S.J. Melady. Mr. Wright designed a number of residences in St. Paul, along with the Highland and Grandview Theaters. This project relocates the garage to "give back" the backyard. The addition and remodeling connects it to the house with a porch, new mudroom, family dining, and a kitchen where you want to cook!

Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase

Oct 11, 12, 13 2002

4809 13th Avenue South

Minneapolis, Minnesota

This whole house, a south Minneapolis 2-story, works better for a couple of avid readers. The remodeling and new addition looks to the backyard, lets the sun in, and includes a two-story library with stacks for lots and lots of books. It also creates a new gourmet kitchen, a 3/4 bath, and a second floor study. Talilored to the needs of the client, these kinds of ideas can make older houses more livable throughout the city.

Irish Dome

Rosemount, Minnesota

Irish Dome helps develop area athletes

Athletic facility has many uses

Finding a place to practice year-round shouldn't be much of a problem in the south metro anymore. With the Irish Sports Dome now open, athletic teams from the south metro area have been filing in for practice, games, tournaments and events at the Rosemmount-based facility. Open since January 6, the dome provides a big open green space (artificial turf with rubber fill) 150 yards long and 70 yards wide inside an enclosed dome. And it's finding many suitors.

"The space available and turf surface are ideal for outdoor soccer training and are superior to other facilities available in close proximity to our club," Eagan traveling soccer president Brian Voss said.

Owner and manager Eric Heflin and a few of his business partners dreamed up the dome about thee years ago." Me and my partners, of lack of facilities like this in the twin cities, almost jokingly said we build our own dome," Heflin said. "After doing some research we found that it might be feasible and away we went."

The dome is a privately owned facility with a symbiotic relationship with the Rosemount school system. "It's a great opportunity for athletes to participate in the sport during winter," Heflin said. Local teams from places like Eagan, Apple Valley and Lakeville as well as Rosemount use the facility. The facility is equipped for softball, soccer, lacrosse, baseball and football. Heflin and his crew knew there was a need in the area and now that it's there, it has its fans. Summer is its non-busy season, but there are still a few tournaments, clinics and high school showcases during the summer.

"For this coming winter season, it looks like it's filling up pretty quickly," Heflin said. League information and rental information can be found on the website at

THISWEEK June 25, 2005

Andy Rogers

The Browning Complex

Apple Valley, Minnesota

New vet clinic coming to Apple Valley

The Apple Valley City Council unanimously approved the site plan for a new veterinary clinic on Aug 9. The veterinary clinic would border a primarily residential area at the intersection of Palomino Drive and Hunters Way.

In addition to Dr. Ron Hunt's veterinary clinic, space would be leased to other medical businesses, said Apple Valley Assistant City Planner Kathy Bodmer.

The building will have a single story on the east side, which will face a residential area. The west side of the facility will have two stories.

"The design of the building is intended to help it tie in more of a residential feel," Bodmer said. Apple Valley City Councilmember Tom Goodwin said the new office building will be a good addition to the city. "It's a very nice looking building," Goodwin said. "I think these people are providing a nice neighborhood service."

--Complied by Heather J. Carlson

Restaurant Alma

Minneapolis, Minnesota


"Simplicity is the mantra at intimate Alma. From the minute I walked in the door, I got the sense that everything had been done with a loving attention to detail... The watchword here is mindfulness. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, uses the example of eating a tangerine slowly and attentively to teach the importance of being fully present in the moment. It is remarkable just how intensely pleasurable that simple experience can be when you give it your full attention."

--Star Tribune writer Jeremy Iggers in his December 9, 1999 Restaurant Review.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Home Tour

"I have been in Minneapolis for 30 years, and the Elliot Park neighborhood for over 10. I have done renovations in Phillips and Lowry Hill, but my pet project is my own home. My architect, Rolf Lokensgard, and I tastefully converted my 1875 Italianate home - one of the first houses in the area - into two units. My next project is the boarded-up house next door."

--Mary Lou Maxwell

Carnegie Library Additon and Remodeling

Hutchinson, Minnesota

Lighting the way to knowledge

Hutchinson's library, with its new addtion, is a cozy, warm place to start any book adventure. The interior and exterior lights give the building a stately appearance on a crisp, winter evening, and make the structure the focal point of Library Square and the downtown area.

--Hutchinson Leader

News Release

May 13, 1999

The Blue Ribbon building, 530 University Ave SE (AM Coming Soon May/June 1998) rescue and renovation by owners Steve and Liza Kiwus, The Lander Group, and Rolf Lokensgard Architecture is one of 14 winners of the 1999 Preservation Awards from the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. The building began as a Fire Station in 1901, suffered a sorry state of neglect, and now is home to studios, gallery, Dunn Bros Coffee, and future home of Restaurant Alma . (See Star Tribune Thursday, May 13, 1999)