Anne and Bruce, the clients for this project, had recently relocated to Chapel Hill from Florida. They considered themselves “climate refugees” who no longer wanted to live through the yearly hurricanes they were experiencing in Florida. They selected Arielle Schechter for her modernist style, then agree to ramp up the design “Net-Zero Ready” in accordance with her commitment to sustainability.
They told Schechter they dreamed of a modest, yet decidedly modern, environmentally sustainable, age-in-place home in a natural, wooded setting. They found the perfect building site in a beech tree forest in Chapel Hill. READ MORE
Out of 105 agents considered throughout the Triangle region.
After analyzing and scoring 105 agents, Expertise has awarded Jodi Bakst (left), owner of Chapel Hill-based Real Estate Experts, a place on its 2019 list of the Best Real Estate Agents serving Durham, NC.
“I’m thrilled!” Bakst said, smiling, as she downloaded the award badge for her agency’s website.
Based in Seattle, WA, Expertise uses proprietary, in-depth research and selection process, including detailed comparisons, to identify the top service professionals in over 200 different industries in significant cities across the United States.
Ultimately, the Expertise team conducts a manual review before notifying those who make the list. But first, Expertise’s in-house software grades them on Reputation, Credibility, Experience, Engagement (approachable and responsive to clients), and Professionalism.
“Jodi Bakst… began her career in the real estate field over two decades ago,” her Expertise listing points out. “Focusing on the local real estate market in Chapel Hill, Durham, and surrounding communities, she specializes in residential properties, green building, digital marketing, and property management.” It also notes her “many advanced certifications, including residential and luxury home marketing specialist, distressed property expert, and international property specialist.”
Expertise reports that the lists on its website, Expertise.com, receives over half a million monthly visitors. To see all of the lists of “Best Local Experts” by state, city, and category, visit expertise.com.
Real Estate Experts is a residential real estate and property management company that has been serving the local market for over 20 years, going above and beyond to provide exceptional service to its clients. The agents are experts in their market and out-of-the-box thinkers when it comes to the real estate transaction, negotiation, and marketing. With their clients in mind, they listen and deliver the results they want. For more information, visit realestateexperts.net, call 919-928-9131, or email Jodi@realestateexperts.net.
November 13, 2019 (Richmond, VA) – Frank Harmon wants to transform the way we see and enjoy the world around us. That’s why the multi-award-winning architect from Raleigh, NC, wroteNative Places: Drawing as a Way to See. That’s also why he’ll be in Richmond this month.
On Thursday, November21, The Branch Museum of Architecture & Design will host a lecture and book-signing event with Harmon from 5:30-7:30 pm. Then on Saturday, November 23, Harmon will lead an Urban Sketching Workshop around the Museum’s vicinity on Monument Avenue from 10 am-1 pm. Both events are open to the public.
Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See is a collection of 64 of Harmon’s watercolor sketches – of buildings, landscapes and cityscapes, everyday objects and ordinary places — paired with 200-word essays. The pairs first appeared in his popular online journal NativePlaces.org. The sketches, some over 30 years old, convey the delight he finds in each subject. The brief essays offer his fresh perspectives on topics inspired by those sketches, especially places and things that we take for granted.
For Frank Harmon, sketching has always been an element of his education and his practice. He has made sketches “as a way to see” since his university days at the Architectural Association in London. Since then, he has kept a sketch pad, pens, and a pocket-sized water-color set in a small bag wherever he’s gone, from fields along rural highways where he spots old barns and sheds to urban centers and lush gardens throughout Europe.
“Usually I sketch something I’m curious about,” he notes.
As an architect and a professor of architecture at North Carolina State University’s College of Design, Harmon has conducted Urban Sketching Workshops for the American Institute of Architect’s National Conventions; for various AIA chapters and sections across the nation; and at Auburn University’s renowned Rural Studio in Hale County, Alabama. He began combining sketching workshops with book-signing events soon after ORO Editions published Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See.
In his workshops, Harmon helps participants learn to look more closely at the particulars of a place and the nuances of objects, then express both through sketching.
Ticket options for Frank Harmon’s lecture and Urban Sketching Workshop are available at branchmuseum.org. Click on “events.”
Frank Harmon, FAIA, (right) a multi-award-winning architect from Raleigh, North Carolina, and the author of the critically acclaimed book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, will be in Austin Tuesday, November 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a lecture and book-signing event hosted by the Austin chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Austin).
As the architect of the modern, thoroughly sustainable AIA NC Center for Architecture & Design building in Raleigh, he will also address AIA Austin’s plans for a similar structure.
Frank Harmon’s appearance is part of AIA Austin’s “Design Talks” Luncheon Series held in the Lake | Flato-designed Austin Central Library.
“AIA Austin is thrilled to welcome an architecture and drawing master like Frank to Austin,” said Ingrid Spencer, Executive Director of AIA Austin and the Austin Foundation for Architecture. “Because Frank designed the only ground-up Center for Architecture in the country, and we’re striving to create such a place in Austin, we are extra excited for his visit.”
After a brief AIA Austin Annual Meeting, architect and professor Lawrence Speck will introduce Harmon, who will then discuss and read excerpts from Native Places and share his reasons for writing it. One of those reasons is his lifelong belief that drawing offers the opportunity “to transform the way we see” the world around us.
“Sketching allows us to see what we might not have noticed,” Harmon says. “It allows us to be present.”
Published by ORO Editions, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See is a collection of 64 of Harmon’s watercolor sketches paired with brief essays he’s written about architecture, nature, everyday objects, and ordinary places. The pairs first appeared in his popular online journal NativePlaces.org.
The sketches in Native Places, some of which are 30 years old, convey the delight the architect finds in these places and things. The short essays, inspired by the sketches, offer his fresh interpretations of what most people take for granted.
Seattle architect Tom Kundig, FAIA, calls Harmon’s book “a masterful legacy on all levels.” Architect Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, offers this:
“Native Places provides a reflective pause in my busy day to consider the humanity of buildings and places. I find my sense of hope and possibility renewed in these simple, evocative drawings and the wisdom that accompanies them.”
BookPeople, the leading independent bookstore in Texas since 1970, will make copies of Native Places available for purchase so attendees can get them signed by the author.
Advance tickets for the November 12 “Design Talks” event are $30 for AIA and Allied AIA members, $15 for Associate members and students, and $40 for non-members. Tickets purchased at the door November 12 will be $40 for AIA and Allied AIA members and $20 for Associate members and students. To register and secure advanced tickets click here.
Austin Central Library is located at 710 West Cesar Chevez Street, Austin, TX 78701 (512-452-4332). For more information on the November 12 event and AIA Austin, visit aiaaustin.org.
Based in Chapel Hill, Real Estate Experts is an independent, full-service residential real estate and property management company that has been serving the Triangle and surrounding areas for over 20 years. Bakst has hired the boutique PR agency to increase her agency’s visibility and to support her marketing plans.
“Early in her career, Jodi Bakst knew that marketing is arguably the most important aspect of her business, which contributed to her incredible success. She’s an expert at real estate marketing,” said Kim Weiss, owner and operator of Blueplate PR. “But sometimes public relations is more effective because it confirms a real estate agent’s expertise and credibility. It establishes trust – a value that attracts clients and media attention.”
To that end, Weiss said she’s working with Bakst to expose the “emotional side of Real Estate Experts by celebrating the fascinating people behind the brand and by sharing those happy human moments that real estate transactions so often elicit.”
sometimes public relations is more effective because it confirms…expertise and credibility. It establishes trust…”
Blueplate PR will also be involved in a unique residential community Bakst is planning, from website content development through promotional campaigns. The goal, Weiss said, will be maximum exposure to potential investors, property owners and in the media.
“I’m working with architects and builders on my new project,” Bakst said. “They told me, hands down, ‘Kim Weiss is the best in the business. You have to hire her.’ So that’s what I did. And not only am I working with Kim on my upcoming project; I was so excited about her that I asked for her help with promoting Real Estate Experts as well.”
Jodi Bakst co-owns the Property Management Group within Real Estate Experts with Realtor® Bill Matthes. For more information on all aspects of Real Estate Experts, visit realestateexperts.net.
Owned and operated by award-winning journalist and former magazine editor Kim Weiss, Blueplate PR is a boutique public relations agency located in downtown Raleigh, NC. The agency specializes in full-service PR campaigns for architects and other businesses and organizations within and related to the building industry. For more information, visit blueplatepr.org and/or email Kim Weiss: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Real Estate Experts:
Real Estate Experts is a residential real estate and property management company. We have been serving the local market for over 20 years, going above and beyond to provide exceptional service to our clients. Not only are we experts in our market, the real estate transaction, negotiation, and marketing, we are out-of-the-box thinkers. With our clients in mind, we listen and we deliver the results they want. For more information, visit realestateexperts.net, call 919-928-9131 or email Jodi@realestateexperts.net.
Cameron Art Museum (CAM) in Wilmington will host a reception and book signing event for celebrated architect/author Frank Harmon when he shares his new book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See during an illustrated lecture on Thursday, October 24th, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Harmon will then lead an Urban Sketching Workshop in downtown Wilmington on Saturday morning, October. 26th, from 9 am – noon.
A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a professor of architecture at NC State University’s College of Design, Frank Harmon lead his multi-award-winning firm in Raleigh for over three decades.
Five years ago he launched NativePlaces.org, an online journal that paired watercolor sketches he’s made over those decades – of buildings and nature, landscapes and cityscapes, everyday objects and ordinary places — with fresh 200-word essays that convey the delight he finds in each subject. The essays never repeat what’s visible in the sketches. Instead, they elucidate ideas and thoughts inspired by those images.
Published by ORO Editions, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, is a collection of 64 sketch-essay pairings that Charles D. Linn, FAIA, former deputy editor of Architectural Record, helped Harmon cull from the online journal and organize into a book.
During his illustrated lecture at CAM, Harmon will share excerpts from Native Places and examples of his own architectural work to illustrate his belief that sketching “as a way to see” enhances the grace with which we observe and appreciate all sorts of “native places.”
“If I take a photograph of something, I’ll soon forget it,” he adds. “But if I draw something, it remains in my mind forever.”
After his presentation, Harmon will take questions from the audience then sign copies of his book, which will be available for purchase at CAM.
Then on Saturday, October 26th, the author will lead an Urban Sketching Workshop in downtown Wilmington. Through the workshop, he will share his belief that drawing in the digital age is far from obsolete. Rather, “it is transformative in the way we observe and interact with the world around us.” Participants should bring their own sketchpads and pencils.
Tickets to the lecture are $12 for CAM members, $17 for non-members, and $8 for students with valid IDs. Those registered for the Saturday workshop will be admitted to the lecture free of charge.
Cameron Art Museum is located at 3201 South 17th Street, Wilmington, NC 28412. For more information, including how to purchase tickets, visit cameronartmuseum.org.
A Greensboro native and Raleigh resident, Frank Harmon has designed sustainable modern buildings across the Southeast for 30 years that are specific to their sites and use materials, such as hurricane-felled cypress and rock from local quarries, to connect them to their landscapes. Airy breezeways, outdoor living spaces, deep overhangs, and wide lawns embody the vernacular legacy of the South while maintaining a distinguished modernism. To see examples of his work, visit frankharmon.com.
Harmon is a graduate of the Architectural Association in London and a popular professor of architecture at the North Carolina State University College of Design. He has taught at the Architectural Association and has been a visiting critic at Harvard University, Yale University, and the University of Virginia. He continues to serve as a visiting critic at Auburn University’s renowned Rural Studio.
Fans of this Chapel Hill architect’s work were pleased to learn that her most recently completed house — this one in Chapel Hill’s Beech Forest — will be featured on the fall “Modapalooza” Tour of modernist houses in the Triangle.
Sponsored by the non-profit organization North Carolina Modernist Houses, this fall’s “Modapalooza” will be held on Saturday, October 12, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will offer nine private homes for touring, including Schechter’s Mason-Grabell House on Mill Valley Road.
Schechter designed the 2465-square-foot house for Anne Mason and Bruce Grabell who moved to Chapel Hill from Florida. They wanted a modest and modern, environmentally sustainable, age-in-place home in a natural setting. They found the perfect property in Beech Forest.
Working with green home builder Kevin Murphy of Newphire Building Co. in Chapel Hill, Schechter designed the Mason-Grabell House to be extremely energy efficient now as it awaits a future solar array on the roof, which will take it easily to Net Zero.
Among the high-performance features that Modapalooza tour-goers will see are Schechter’s favorite Passive House-rated windows and doors from Eurostar Fenestration® and the flat roof’s deep overhangs. The latter provide shade for the windows and overhead shelter for the porches and decks – the outdoor living spaces – that are key elements in all of Schechter’s residential work.
To meet the homeowners’ age-in-place goal, Schechter designed the one-story house to be “zero thresholds” from the walkway to the front door and throughout the interior: There are no steps and no tripping hazards, such as thresholds at doorways and shower curbs.
On the front elevation, reminiscent of a cluster of orange Cosmos in a field of wildflowers, the house’s orange front door is a bold element within the horizontal panel siding and cypress accent wall.
On the rear elevation, a large screen porch appears to float out into the landscape. A wrap-around deck connects the porch to an outdoor grilling area.
Inside, an entire wall of the main living space is actually two massive, glass folding doors. While the house’s windows, strategically placed to avoid heat gain, provide visual access to the natural setting, the folding doors literally open the interior to the outdoors overlooking Beech Forest.
Aware that Anne Mason loves to cook, Schechter’s floorplan revolves around the kitchen — the heart of the house, both physically and metaphorically — with all other spaces having easy access to it.
And in the kitchen, as throughout the interior, Schechter custom designed all of the black walnut cabinetry. With its vivid grain and rich color, black walnut is both retro and regal and lent itself beautifully as well to the mid-century-inspired cocktail bar she created for a space beside the fireplace in the dining area.
The fall Modapalooza Tour is sold out, but NCMH founder George Smart encourages anyone interested to get his or her name on the waiting list in case there are cancellations. Click here for details.
Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is a licensed, registered architect based in Chapel Hill, NC, who specializes in Modernist, energy-efficient buildings with a focus on Passive houses, Net Zero/Net Positive houses, and Micropolis Houses®, the collection of tiny houses she designed. Her residential projects range from 400 to 6000 square feet. She is a lifelong environmentalist and began practicing green design long before it became mainstream. She is also a lifelong animal advocate. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Arnie, and an assortment of foster animals in the Modern, sustainable house she designed for them. For more information: www.acsarchitect.com.
The editors of Metal Construction News (MCN), the premier national news magazine for the metal construction industry, have tapped North Carolina architect Doug Pierson, AIA, to serve as one of only three judges for their 2019 Building and Roofing Awards.
Pierson and his partner Youn Choi are co-owners and principals of pod architecture + design. Their Chapel Hill-based firm received the highest honor – Grand Winner — in MCN’s 2018 awards program for their design of the 55,000-square-foot Rabbit Hole Distillery in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.
“Because that honor meant so much to us, I was incredibly honored when [Senior Editor] Mark Robins asked me to serve as a judge this year,” said Pierson, who is also a faculty member at NC State University’s College of Design.
Projects have been submitted to the Building and Roofing Awards in five categories: Metal Buildings, Metal Roofs/New, Metal Roofs/Retrofit, Metal Walls/New, and Metal Walls/Retrofit.
Pierson and the other two judges will receive the entries digitally on October 4th. On October 14 they will confer with the MCN staff to determine the best three submissions in each category and the 2019 Grand Winner. The judges may also suggest projects worthy of a “Judges’ Award.”
This is the 33rd year that Metal Construction News has showcased innovation and excellence in the metal construction industry through its awards program.
In a ceremony in Cincinnati, Ohio, last week, Doug Pierson, AIA, and Youn Choi, partners at pod architecture + design (pod a+d) in Chapel Hill, NC, received their second design award for Rabbit Hole Distillery, the metal, glass, and blackened wood structure they designed in downtown Louisville, KY, that the president of the Kentucky Distillers Association called “a modern monument to our historic industry.”
Earlier this year, pod a+d’s distillery design claimed the top “Grand Award” honor in Metal Construction News’ annual awards program.
The Kentucky chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) presented its awards during the AIA Ohio Valley Region’s “Celebrating Design Awards Luncheon” on September 19 at the Hilton Netherlands Plaza in Cincinnati.
The awards jury praised the new distillery as “an exuberant extension of industrial language with playful materiality. There is a legible and contemporary expression of both corporate identity and the process of making at various scales. In this way, the process of production becomes part of the architecture.”
According to Pierson and Choi, the design embraced the strategy “form follows process” as they allowed the building to take shape in direct response to the bourbon production process it houses.
The design also expresses owner Kaveh Zamanian’s vision for “transparency and craft,” another aspect the awards jury appreciated: “The architectural language in section builds up to create programmatic density in some moments and transparency at the atrium.”
The building’s “strong relationship to the street” impressed the jurors as well.
At pod a+d, we believe in the integration of architecture and all aspects of design to connect buildings + environment + identity. That’s why pod a+d is a hybrid firm, offering all architectural services, experiential design, and wayfinding. Exterior and interior architecture; furnishings and finishes; financial feasibility and scheduling; engineering and construction; and environmental graphics – considered simultaneously, these disciplines inform our hybrid/integrated approach to architecture. For more information: www.podand.com.
On August 21, pod architecture + design (pod a+d), the award-winning design firm previously located in Carrboro, moved its multi-disciplinary studio from the historic Depot on that town’s Main Street to offices at 201-A North Columbia Street in Chapel Hill.
The move reflects the partners’ desire to establish their studio in the more nationally known Chapel Hill since many of their projects are located outside North Carolina. Examples include Rabbit Hole Distillery in downtown Louisville, Kentucky; Sixty Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California; and a new distillery in Brooklyn, New York.
Doug Pierson, AIA, and his wife, experiential designer Youn Choi, are the founders, partners, and principal designers at pod a+d. They relocated the firm from Los Angeles to North Carolina a few years ago and have been operating out of the converted 1882 Depot in Carrboro since 2013.
While they’re quick to say they’ve thoroughly enjoyed the historic Depot, something was always nagging at them,..
pod a+d is licensed in five states because the firm’s work frequently takes its team of designers from North Carolina to California and other project sites in between. And more often than not, whenever they’ve told out-of-state clients that their firm is headquartered in Carrboro, the look on their faces has made them add quickly, “…which is right next door to Chapel Hill.” The nods and smiles afterward spoke volumes. Like Duke University in Durham, UNC-Chapel Hill has given the town a national reputation.
“Ultimately, it made sense to us to align our firm with that distinction,” Choi said. So they loaded a moving van at the Depot, drove a few blocks northeast, and unloaded the van at 201A North Columbia Street.
“We’re looking forward to settling into our new studio and enjoying all the opportunities available in Chapel Hill’s downtown district,” Pierson added.
The studio move has taken place just a couple of months before Pierson, Choi, and their two children will move into the new modern house they designed that’s currently under construction in Carrboro.
pod architecture + design (pod a+d) is a full-service, award-winning, non-traditional architecture firm located in the Triangle region of North Carolina and licensed in five states. As a firm, we believe in the integration of architecture and all aspects of design to connect buildings, environment, and identity. That’s why pod a+d is a hybrid firm, offering all architectural services, environmental design, experiential graphics, and wayfinding design. Exterior and interior architecture; furnishings and finishes; financial feasibility and scheduling; engineering and construction; and environmental graphics – considered simultaneously, these disciplines inform our integrated approach to architecture. For more information: www.podand.com.