METAL CONSTRUCTION NEWS: “Dynamic Distillery” – Rabbit Hole takes the Grand Award

In the 2018 Metal Construction News Building & Roofing Awards

RH Ariel View

By Mark Robins, Senior Editor

Form follows process. This is contemporary bourbon maker, founder and CEO of Rabbit Hole Distilling, Kaveh Zamanian’s vision for life and for his Rabbit Hole Distillery manufacturing building in downtown Louisville, Ky. This very modern, innovative 55,000-square-foot bourbon distillery, completed in July 2018, exemplifies this vision. The judges for the 2018 Metal Construction News Building and Roofing Awards were very impressed with both the distillery’s form and process, with two of them even saying that if they saw it from a distance while out driving, they would want to drive toward it to learn and see more about it.

“The Rabbit Hole Distillery project is a new contemporary building for a new bourbon manufacturing product in an otherwise traditional industry,” says Douglas V. Pierson, AIA, LEED APBD+C, co-founder/partner, architect and design principal at pod architecture + design, Carrboro, N.C. “A design strategy of transparency was our way of showcasing in a modern way the complex process of bourbon making for all to see, and, while standing on the shoulders of giants, ridding any expectations of secret recipes and obscure traditions.”  READ MORE

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TIMES OF SICILY reviews ‘Sicily: Land of Love & Strife’ – A Filmmaker’s Journey’ by Mark Spano

Book Cover ArtBy Andrew and Suzanne Edwards

Mark’s story starts in the streets of Kansas City in a neighbourhood populated by immigrant Sicilians and Neapolitans. He was born to a father of Sicilian origin and a mother whose family came from Puglia. Despite the criminality he witnessed in his hometown, Mark’s family guided him down a path that avoided the temptations of easy money, fighting the facile stereotyping faced by many families whose relatives hailed from southern Italy. He admits that he can’t quite pin-down his feeling of being Sicilian. Despite a lifetime of reading about the island, his first visit was delayed until he was sixty, but it was a visit that would have him yearning for Trinacria whenever he put pen to paper or film to camera. The truth of this is to be found within us all; we are all immigrants from somewhere, however far removed, and to deny that is part of the problem we face as humans in the complex global world of the twenty-first century. Mark has chosen to embrace his family’s past and discover more.  READ MORE

SICILY: LAND OF LOVE & STRIFE Is Coming to The Triangle

Film Header

New documentary will change public perception of the island nation while raising funds for food for the homeless.


The Triangle Sons of Italy (TSOI), Lodge 2817, will present the North Carolina premiere of “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,” the new feature-length documentary by Mark Spano, a first-generation Sicilian-American who hopes his film will change public perception of the mysterious island nation.

The film will be shown at The Cary Theatre, 123 East Chatham Street, Cary, NC 27511 on Sunday, November 11, at 3 p.m., followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker. The TSOL Lodge will also host an optional buffet dinner that evening at nearby Mayton Inn (301 South Academy Street). All proceeds will support Lodge 2817’s efforts to provide food for the homeless throughout the Triangle.

Sicily documentary
From “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife”

Writer/producer/director Mark Spano, a first-generation Sicilian-American, explains the inspiration for the critically acclaimed documentary he crafted over a period of five years:

“Fewer places on the planet compare to Sicily as a place of wonder and intrigue,” he says. “Yet little has been produced about the cultural or historic relevance of Sicily. But for crime, Sicily has gone unexplored. The island’s association with the Mafia, so deeply entrenched in popular consciousness, has obscured more rounded and accurate depictions of its history and culture.”

Until now. Through “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,” Spano is introducing sold-out audiences across the U.S. and Canada to the many facets of the island nation that are relatively unknown to the public: the natural beauty, epic human struggles, depth and diversity of culture, historic sites, and philosophic influence.

The buffet dinner will begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $26 per person.

Tickets to the film are $20. Anyone purchasing tickets for the film and dinner must do so in advance at  https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/8241717/sicilyland-of-love-strife-cary-the-cary or by sending a check made out to TSOI 2817 to Bob Giannuzzi, 548 Clarenbridge Drive, Cary, NC 27519. Film tickets only may also be purchased at the theater.

Book Cover ArtThe DVD and Companion Book

The film’s recently released companion book, Sicily: Land of Love & Strife – A Filmmaker’s Journey, will be available for purchase in the lobby on November 11 or ordered now at this link. Dreamscape Media (distributor) will release the DVD on December 1. Pre-orders can be made at the same lin

For more information on “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,” visit markspano.wordpress.com and follow the Facebook page for updates.

About filmmaker Mark Spano

Mark Spano is the son of Sicilian immigrants and holds both US and Sicily citizenships. He grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, in a vibrant Sicilian-American community. Since the 1980s, he has lived in Orange County, NC. Yet for five years, he spent a huge chunk of his time in Sicily as he worked on the documentary of his family’s homeland. Recently, Thunderfoot Press released the 130-page companion book he wrote for the film, entitled Sicily: Land of Love & Strife – A Filmmaker’s Journey. The book is available on Amazon.

 

 

The Path from Concept to Critically Acclaimed Documentary

Thunderfoot Press Releases Sicily: Land of Love and Strife – A Filmmaker’s Journey by Mark Spano

Book Cover ArtA year ago, after four years of multiple trips to Sicily for research, interviews, impressions, writing, re-writing, and, finally, filmmaking, writer/director/producer Mark Spano began introducing his feature-length documentary “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” to audiences in the U.S. and Canada, often selling out the venues that host these special screenings.

Now Thunderfoot Press has released the companion book Sicily: Land of Love and Strife – A Filmmaker’s Journey, by Mark Spano. The 130-page book reveals the process by which Spano was able to capture on film the island nation’s natural beauty, its passionate people and epic human struggles, the depth and diversity of its culture, the philosophic insights that originated there, and its wealth of historic sites. “All of the facets of Sicily that have been obscured by its association with organized crime,” he says.

A first-generation Sicilian-American, Spano invites readers to follow him on his quest to celebrate the real Sicily and, therefore, change public perception of his family’s homeland.

In her Foreward to the book, Karen La Rosa of La RosaWorks Sicily Tours & Travel, writes of Spano’s journey: “A writer/filmmaker is always asking questions and his documentary, ‘’Sicily: Land of Love & Strife’ is the answer to some of his… To his own eye, a broader picture of Sicily’s history, its complicated issues, and unique evolution, presented itself.” The companion book “enables a better understanding of his journey,” she notes, “both as a child in a Sicilian neighborhood in Kansas City and as an adult walking the narrow lanes of the Vucciria in Palermo.“

She concludes: “Mark has generously shared a very personal and unique view of Sicily in the direction of his terrific documentary. This intriguing companion book, which peeks inside its author, will bring you along on his continuing Sicilian odyssey —  his quest to understand and describe this fascinating Italian island.”

Sicily: Land of Love and Strife – A Filmmaker’s Journey is available on Amazon.

For more information on the film, including places and dates of future screenings, visit markspano.wordpress.com and follow it on Facebook.

Production details

Paperback: 130 pages
Publisher: Thunderfoot Press;
Publication Date: First edition, September 18, 2018
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0997602716
ISBN-13: 978-0997602715
Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Retail price: $14.95

Tonic Design Selected for WCPSS Master Professional Services Agreement

 To provide architecture services for Wake County public schools.

Tonic Design
Vinny Petrarca and Katherine Hogan, AIA

Tonic Design, a multi-award-winning architectural firm based in Raleigh, NC, has qualified to provide architecture services to the Wake County Public School System, the largest school district in North Carolina, under the WCPSS’s Master Professional Services Agreements.

To qualify, Tonic Design co-owners Vincent Petrarca and Katherine Hogan, AIA, met all criteria including:

  1. Expertise in the type of work the WCPSS would require.
  2. Number of years the firm has been in business.
  3. Successful past performance on similar projects that included handling budgets and scheduling.
  4. Awards and professional acknowledgments with letters of recommendation.
  5. Status as a minority business with 51 percent of the firm owned by, in this case, a woman.

Hogan, who is also a member of the City of Raleigh’s Appearance Commission, and Petrarca presented their qualifications to the WCPSS’s Facilities Design and Construction department. The agreement is in effect for two years

Tonic Design is currently working on a “Maker Space,” a new building for an existing private elementary school. The school’s administration wants to expand pedagogical opportunities through long-term projects and new technologies. Inspired by their mission, the partners have based the building’s form on sustainable design strategies. A large roof, for example, will define adaptable volumes of interior space and will let the students witness the sun tracking through the building during the school day.

About Tonic Design

Tonic Design is a multi-award-winning architecture firm located in Raleigh, NC. Among many accolades throughout their careers, principals Katherine Hogan, AIA, and Vincent Petrarca received the 2017 Kamphoefner Prize for Modern Architecture, one of the highest honors for practicing architects in the state. In 2013, they were named “Rising Stars” by Residential Architect magazine. Their projects have been featured in a host of national publications, including Architectural Record, Residential Architect, Dwell, Custom Homes, Inform magazine, and Metal Architecture, and locally in the News & Observer, Walter magazine, and Urban Home. For more information: www.tonic-design.com.

 

on the boards: pod architecture + design partners reveal plans for their modern house on a hillside

modern, custom-design house NC
Scale model of Carrboro House by pod architecture + design

Eager to plant their roots more deeply into their new hometown, experiential graphics designer Youn Choi and award-winning architect Doug Pierson, AIA, partners in life and founding partners of pod architecture + design (pod a+d) in Carrboro, have designed a modern house for their family of four that they’re about to build on a site that poses a host of challenges.

“No one has purchased the lot for a long time because it’s so hard to build on,” said Pierson, referring to the 1.2-acre swatch he and Choi purchased within a 12-acre preserved wooded area. “It has severe limitations: a year-round 100-foot creek setback, an oddly shaped buildable area, a steep hillside, dense forest coverage, and it’s adjacent to a floodplain.”

Yet Pierson and Choi didn’t see those issues as limiting. They saw them as inspirational.

From their design studio in the historic train depot in downtown Carrboro, Pierson explained how the land informed the custom design of the future 2500-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath modern house that he and Choi will share with their two young children.

Rendering

“We’ve chosen to honor the unique site by letting it suggest the form of the house,” he said. “So we’ve partially embedded it into the wooded hillside and opened it up to the natural meadow and creek at the lower elevations. We’ve used the strict construction limitations to establish a design that follows the usable land contours, reflects the climb in elevation by ‘hopping’ up to the higher elevation, then anchors itself back to the top. The form evolved wholly from the site limitations and our desire to maintain the meadow undisturbed.” He paused and smiled. “On a different site, it would be a different house. So we’re very happy that we found this particular site.”

Pierson, whose family hails from North Carolina, and Choi, a native of South Korea, are excited about reusing the Southern yellow pine trees that have to be felled to make room for the house. They’re having all of them milled locally then returned to the site to be repurposed as cabinetry and architectural woodwork.

According to the design, this modern, sustainable house will be a composition of sleek, rectilinear forms, at once soaring and grounded. Huge expanses of glass will frame views of the meadow, forest, and creek and allow natural light to fill the interior. The foundation and retaining walls will be polished concrete block. A terrace on the upper level will have glass overlook guardrails.

They haven’t decided on the exterior material yet. If the past is precedent, it will be corrugated metal. But Choi is still searching for a new cladding material that can be continuously wrapped around the house’s form and respond to the site and the climate.

Inside, their modern house will feature exposed structural steel, polished concrete floors over radiant heating, quartz countertops, and the repurposed southern yellow pine for custom cabinetry.

Committed to Local:

Pierson pointed out that he and Choi have hired green home builder Kevin Murphy of Newphire Building in Chapel Hill, and an all-local roster of consultants and suppliers including: structural engineer Rob Munach of Excel Engineering in Carrboro; Fitch Lumber & Hardware in Carrboro; Stonehenge Masonry and Adams/Oldcastle Products, both in Youngsville; Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp. in Mocksville; and radiant flooring expert Mike Torville of Carrboro.

The Choi-Pierson house should be completed by August of 2019.

For more information on pod a+d, go to www.podand.com and visit the blog, pod news & media. The firm is also on FacebookPinterest, and LinkedIn.

About pod architecture + design:

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, 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 hybrid/integrated approach to architecture. For more information: www.podand.com.

INHABITAT: “Micropolis custom net-zero home generates all its own energy”

 

2.EXTERIOR LEFT

By Lucy Wang

When Cheryl and Ken Serdar saw one of the homes belonging to Micropolis®, a collection of sustainable and contemporary house plans designed by architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, they knew they wanted a custom home based on the original 950-square-foot “Happy Family” plan. Taking into account the couple’s needs for extra space, Schechter designed a 2,222-square-foot dwelling that also offered all of the sustainable and modern design features defined in her Micropolis® line. Located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, the custom net-zero home is the most energy-efficient residence that the architect has designed to date. READ MORE…

On The Boards: pod architecture + design partners reveal plans for their modern house on a hillside.

modern, custom-design house NC
Scale model of Carrboro House by pod architecture + design

Eager to plant their roots more deeply into their new hometown, experiential graphics designer Youn Choi and award-winning architect Doug Pierson, AIA, partners in life and founding partners of pod architecture + design (pod a+d) in Carrboro, have designed a modern house for their family of four that they’re about to build on a site that poses a host of challenges

According to the design, this modern, sustainable house will be a composition of sleek, rectilinear forms, at once soaring and grounded.

“No one has purchased the lot for a long time because it’s so hard to build on,” said Pierson, referring to the 1.2-acre swatch he and Choi purchased within a 12-acre preserved wooded area. “It has severe limitations: a year-round 100-foot creek setback, an oddly shaped buildable area, a steep hillside, dense forest coverage, and it’s adjacent to a floodplain.”

Yet Pierson and Choi didn’t see those issues as limiting. They saw them as inspirational.

modern custom-designed house
Rendering by pod architecture + design

From their design studio in the historic train depot in downtown Carrboro, Pierson explained how the land informed the custom design of the future 2500-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath modern house that he and Choi will share with their two young children.

“We’ve chosen to honor the unique site by letting it suggest the form of the house,” he said. “So we’ve partially embedded it into the wooded hillside and opened it up to the natural meadow and creek at the lower elevations. We’ve used the strict construction limitations to establish a design that follows the usable land contours, reflects the climb in elevation by ‘hopping’ up to the higher elevation, then anchors itself back to the top. The form evolved wholly from the site limitations and our desire to maintain the meadow undisturbed.” He paused and smiled. “On a different site, it would be a different house. So we’re very happy that we found this particular site.”

Pierson, whose family hails from North Carolina, and Choi, a native of South Korea, are excited about reusing the Southern yellow pine trees that have to be felled to make room for the house. They’re having all of them milled locally then returned to the site to be repurposed as cabinetry and architectural woodwork.

According to the design, this modern, sustainable house will be a composition of sleek, rectilinear forms, at once soaring and grounded. Huge expanses of glass will frame views of the meadow, forest, and creek and allow natural light to fill the interior. The foundation and retaining walls will be polished concrete block. A terrace on the upper level will have glass overlook guardrails.

They haven’t decided on the exterior material yet. If the past is precedent, it will be corrugated metal. But Choi is still searching for a new cladding material that can be continuously wrapped around the house’s form and respond to the site and the climate.

Inside, their modern house will feature exposed structural steel, polished concrete floors over radiant heating, quartz countertops, and the repurposed southern yellow pine for custom cabinetry.

Committed to Local

Pierson pointed out that he and Choi have hired green home builder Kevin Murphy of Newphire Building in Chapel Hill, and an all-local roster of consultants and suppliers including: structural engineer Rob Munach of Excel Engineering in Carrboro; Fitch Lumber & Hardware in Carrboro; Stonehenge Masonry and Adams/Oldcastle Products, both in Youngsville; Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp. in Mocksville; and radiant flooring expert Mike Torville of Carrboro.

The Choi-Pierson house should be completed by August of 2019.

For more information on pod a+d, go to www.podand.com and visit the blog, pod news & media. The firm is also on Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

“Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” is Coming to NYC. Its mission: to change public perception of the mysterious Italian island.

NYC PosterA new feature-length documentary created to change public perception of Sicily will be shown in New York City for the first time when the Goddard Riverside Community Center presents “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” on Wednesday, September 12, at 7:30 p.m.

“But for crime, Sicily has gone unexplored,” said the film’s writer/producer/director Mark Spano. “The island’s association with the Mafia, so deeply entrenched in popular consciousness, has obscured more rounded and accurate depictions of its history and culture.”

Until now. Through “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,” Spano is introducing audiences across the U.S. and in Canada to the many facets of the island nation that are relatively unknown to the public: the natural beauty, epic human struggle, depth and diversity of culture, historic sites, and philosophic influence.

Spano is the son of Sicilian immigrants (and holds dual citizenship). He grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, in a vibrant Italian-American community. He held the U.S. premiere of the film in Kansas City in April, where it sold out the host theatre.

Since the 1980s, Spano has lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Yet for five years, he spent a huge chunk of his time in Sicily as he worked on the documentary. (Click here to view the trailer.) 

“The most invaded place on earth, Sicily rivals Greece and Egypt as a primary source for Western ideas,” he noted. “And fewer places on the planet compare to Sicily as a place of wonder and intrigue. Yet little has been produced about the cultural or historic relevance of Sicily.” He pauses and smiles. “I should’ve made this film decades ago.”

Angelo Coniglio of Buffalo, NY, where a special screening of the film sold out in advance, is a genealogist specializing in Sicilian heritage and the author of columns and books set in Sicily. “I’ve been interested in and I’ve supported this project since I first discovered Spano’s plans several years ago,” he said. “The customs, colors, and sounds of both ‘old’ and modern Sicily are vividly brought to life by this film. If you’ve never been to Sicily, the film will invite you to visit. If you have already been there, then ‘Land of Love & Strife’ will haunt you.”

Mark Spano will lead a panel discussion with Sicily aficionado Karen La Rosa and Sicilian-American author/scholar Gaetano Cipolla after the September 12th show.

The Goddard Riverside Community Center is located at 593 Columbus Avenue at 88th Street, New York, NY 10024 (212-799-9400). Tickets are $20 and can be ordered in advance at www.goddard.org or purchased at the center that evening.

For more information on “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” and filmmaker Mark Spano, visit markspano.wordpress.com. Those interested can also follow the film on Facebook.

Third_Dining

From “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife”

 

 

 

Custom Home online: “Hillcrest House Addition: An Innovative Approach to Old + New”

Tonic Design Modern Addition to Traditional House
By keeping the addition’s mass within the planes of the original house and dividing the public and private spaces between two floors, a backyard is retained on a narrow inner-city lot. (Photo by Keith Isaacs)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The project involved designing a modern, 1500-square-foot addition for a two-story, red brick, Georgian Revival-style house built in 1916 in a historic inner-city neighborhood with narrow lots and minimal set-backs between houses.

The addition would become the primary hub of activity for a growing family and an ideal space for entertaining. Programmatically, it would include an open kitchen, dining, living area and a spacious master bedroom suite.

To uphold the general scale of this neighborhood and the manner in which the existing house has addressed the street for over 100 years, the addition’s mass is held within the outer planes of the old house, tucked against its rear elevation.

And unlike other proposals the owners had seen, the plan divided the public and private spaces between two stories rather than letting the new construction consume the majority of the property. As a result, the architects retained a generous backyard for outdoor play space.  READ MORE