The addition is introduced to the home when the existing structure no longer meets the needs of the homeowners. The trick is figuring out the best size, place, and shape most appropriate for the style of the home. Attention to window and door placement, trim details, and finishing materials help to further integrate the new [...]
andy blessing- Master of Construction
Andy’s father ran a successful design build firm in the Twin Cities and therefore Andy grew up in the industry. He attended Hampshire College and the U of M graduating with a degree in Architecture. After operating his own successful design and build business and a brief stint in the music industry, he built the New Victorian Bed and Breakfast in St Paul and is now heading the Build side of Otogawa-Anschel with great energy and excitement. He lives in St Paul with his lovely wife and three little kids (who are also lovely). Favorite color: Orange, Favorite food: Experimental things that come out of his kitchen….
scott barsness, CKBR – Designer / Internal Operations Director
Scott Barsness has been active in the residential remodeling industry for over a decade. He started swinging the hammer at the tender age of ten, building forts and tree houses in Minneapolis, where he grew up. Construction allows Scott to utilize his innovative problem-solving skills and creativity as a draftsman and designer. He is also responsible for the efficiency of all Otogawa-Anschel systems. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoys hunting, fishing and cookies. Scott is committed to the Green movement to help safeguard the environment for future generations (including his son and daughter) to enjoy.
kayla vig – Designer
Kayla brings a wealth of knowledge to the Otogawa-Anschel team with over a decade in the interior design, furnishings, and remodeling industry. Her talents span both the commercial and residential spaces, but her passion is creating highly design contemporary spaces to live in.
She has her Bachelors of Science degree from the Art Institutes International of Minnesota. She feels strongly that the design process should be as rewarding for the client as it is for her. Making sure to listen and understand clients while guiding them through the design process.
In her free time Kayla enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, camping, biking and rollerblading. Another past time she loves is indulging in gourmet foods at local restaurants though her cooking skills are questionable.
scott grimm – Lead Carpenter
Scott is an accomplished carpenter of 25 years and brings a great sense of detail and pride to everything he works on. At Otogawa-Anschel, he enjoys working on projects that are unique and present daily challenges giving him the opportunity to participate in design solutions. Originally from Florida, he moved to Minnesota in 1982. His life with his wife and three kids is full and exciting. His hobbies include riding motorcycles and fishing.
Bruce Knutson, AIA – Senior Architect
Bruce has been a licensed, practicing, architect in the state of MN since 1975. His experience running multi-million dollar construction companies, a multi discipline architectural office, and a wealth of additional architectural roles for a wide range of clients. He was the Chairperson of the Residential committee of the MN Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), President of Bruce Knutson Architects, and an active member of NARI. He has received a number of awards for his work including multiple AIA Presidential Citations.
Jen Durdahl – Office Manager
Jen is the upbeat center of our office. With boundless energy and enthusiasm, she keeps everything running smoothly. With a passion for environmental advocacy and grassroots businesses, Jen is excited to be part of the efforts that Otogawa-Anschel has made to improve the quality of our housing stock and the process we use to get there. When not crunching numbers at the office, she is raising her incredible children.
Michael Anschel – Principal
Michael is a native and life long fan of Minneapolis. He has been involved in the arts from a young age, developing and running a program at the Guthrie Theater before even graduating from high school. With a growing passion for ceramic sculpture and science he deferred college to visit the Far East. His visit turned into residency, he lived in China from 1992-1995 and in Japan from 1995-1996. In China, in addition to learning Mandarin, he held a number of positions including TV show host, Foreign Language Editor for the Beijing Review, university and preschool teacher, and served as head of the English Department for the Japanese Embassy School in Beijing. He returned to the U.S. to finish his degree in Art with a Chinese Minor at the University of Minnesota.
The opportunity to apply his hands-on experience and materials knowledge from his work in ceramic and metal sculpture and his background in art history and architecture, presented itself in remodeling and renovation. After a few years of renovation work he was asked to design and build his first home addition. This particular challenge, to blend the traditional style of the home’s exterior with the homeowner’s contemporary vision for the interior, proved inspirational. The company refocused their direction to remodeling and has never looked back.
When not at work, Michael spends his free time climbing rocks and mountains, skiing, biking, and traveling to new places. Michael is an active member of the City of Lakes Rotary Club, and served on the board of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies. A past member of MN NARI’s Board of Directors, MN GreenStar’s Board of Directors, and writer for Remodeling Magazine, Michael remains an active participant in the building community working to improve the industry and its connection to the community. Michael is a cellist of 36 years, and enjoys experimenting with new sounds and instruments with his international friends.
Michael attributes his success to the many wonderful teachers and guides he has had in life; His grandparents whose immigration, work, and successes continue to be an inspiration; and his parents and family, who are endlessly supportive.