Charles Stinson does not conform to “architect “ as stereotype. As he envisions a new home, he thoughtfully places each vertical, horizontal, or curved form “to define uplifting and inspiring living spaces always connected to the site—each sunrise, each sunset, and all of the views.” His clients become life-long friends for whom he and his team work diligently and with great faith to manifest their dreams. For Stinson, the design and construction of a home is a relationship-fueled collaborative process based on synergy between architect, builder, and client, which only succeeds when “everyone wins.” His No. 1 job, he adds, is “maintaining a positive attitude. After that, everything else just works.”
Stinson will tell you all this with an infectious enthusiasm while sketching with his ubiquitous colored pencils. Add in the ever-present positive attitude and a playful sense of humor, and you have some of the many reasons that his clients, from Germany to Dubai, Minnesota to Texas, and Florida to Colorado, are drawn to him and his work.
“When we met Charles, we knew instantly why his houses are the way they are. They represent his own personal character in many ways—his positive approach, an open mind, and his devotion to detail and style,” says Lars Olbrich. Stinson is designing a new home for Lars, his wife Paulette, and their toddler, in the Black Forest region of Germany. The house will integrate cutting-edge European sustainable technology with Stinson’s distinguished design vocabulary.
“We travel to the U.S. twice a year, and the first thing we do is read up on the latest projects that Trends Magazine presents,” Olbrich continues, referring to one of the international publications in which Stinson’s work is frequently published. His architecture is also featured in several editions of 100 of the World’s Best Houses, and in his own book just recently published, Compositions in Nature. “Charles’ houses caught our eye,” Olbrich says. “They had uniqueness, and represented a harmony in shapes and forms. His style makes homes appear to float. The light caught by the windows makes the rooms alive and welcoming. The houses were spacious and open, exactly what we imagined for our dream home.”
The Olbrichs met with Stinson and toured many of the Minneapolis-area homes he’d completed with Streeter & Associates. As Steven Streeter explains, “Charles’ designs are appealing to build because of his distinctive design, unique use of materials, and an outstanding ability to create. Home site and location are perfectly planned to make best use of natural light.” In talking with numerous homeowners, the Olbrichs also sensed what Streeter describes as “a unique opportunity to be a part of a team that really is passionate about the final product and the relationship with the client.”