Arielle Condoret Schechter’s “Haw River House” Wins Matsumoto Prize

The Paradis-Zimmerman home earns second place in the coveted Jury Awards category.

1.Haw River House drone view copy 2PHOTOS BY TZU CHEN

The modern, Net Zero house that Chapel Hill, NC, architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, designed for Kate Paradis and Scott Zimmerman received a high honor last week. Perched on a rocky knoll overlooking the rapids, the “Haw River House” received Second Place in the prestigious Jury Awards category during the 2020 George Matsumoto Prize, which recognizes excellence in modernist residential design.

NC Modernist, a nationally recognized educational non-profit organization, created the Matsumoto Prize in 2012 to honor modernist architect George Matsumoto, FAIA, one of the founding faculty members of North Carolina State University’s College of Design. The awards ceremony took place online this year.

HR2_Riverside elevation

According to NC Modernist executive director George Smart, the 2020 jury members “seemed to agree at the outset” that the 2600-square-foot house in the forest above the Haw River would be one of the three winners out of the 21 submissions.

“This is one of the houses I’m most proud of in my career so far,” Schechter said after the awards were presented. “I grew up on a river, New Hope Creek, which haunts me to this day. I hope I can work on other river-fronting houses because I feel tied to them.”

Arielle Schechter is known for giving her clients distinctly modern, environmentally sustainable houses that create as much or more energy than they use – i.e., Net Zero. The 2600-square-foot Haw River House is one of those. And like the others, it reflects its place — in this case, a harsh, remote, yet beautiful setting surrounded by a forest. Cantilevered decks and porches echo the angles of old trees that grow out over the water from the rocky riverbank. The butterfly roof references a huge, cleft boulder on the property that acts as a natural trough for rainwater.

Haw River House-47

The owners’ desire to enjoy constant, panoramic views of the river resulted in the floorplan’s clear orientation towards the river, the extensive glazing on the river-facing side, and those porches and decks that extend the interior living spaces outdoors.

“At night, the house glows like a lantern in the forest,” Schechter notes in the video she produced for the competition.

For more information on Arielle Condoret Schechter and more details about this award-winning Net Zero house, visit acsarchitect.com.

About the Matsumoto Prize and the 2020 Jury

The Matsumoto Prize focuses on the houses rather than the designers. Therefore, any residential designer — registered architect or not — may submit a modernist house he or she has designed as long as the house is located in North Carolina. For more information: ncmodernist.org/matsumotoprize.

Each year, a carefully selected jury of professionals selects the top three winners for the Jury Awards while a People’s Choice component invites public voting. This year, the jury included architects Toshiko Mori, FAIA, of New York; Barbara Bestor, FAIA, of Los Angeles; Stella Betts, New York; Annabelle Selldorf, FAIA, New York ; Hugh Kaptur, FAIA, Palm Springs, CA; Harry Wolf, FAIA, Los Angeles; and California architect/author/historian Alan Hess.

3.Haw River House_Cisterns

pod architecture + design to convert old industrial building in downtown Durham into new Liberty & Plenty Distillery

ENTRY WITH OPEN DOORS
RENDERING OF FRONT PORCH AND PUBLIC ENTRANCE, by pod a+d

pod architecture + design, an interdisciplinary design firm based in Chapel Hill represented by Blueplate PR, has been commissioned to design Liberty & Plenty Distillery, a new start-up craft distillery planned for downtown Durham that will produce rum, whiskey, gin, and flavored vodkas.

Solely owned by head distiller Tina Williford, MSc, of Raleigh, the project will involve the adaptive re-use of a former distillery in a one-story, brick, 3400-square-foot building at 609 Foster Street. Built in 1938, the structure was originally an RJ Reynolds tobacco packing house and warehouse. The back patio of the property’s Rickhouse event space (formerly an aging warehouse where packed tobacco barrels were stored) faces the old Durham Bulls stadium.

“I love the architectural concept of contrasting a fresh, contemporary space within the steel and wood patina of the prizery,” Williford says. The prizery was the place where the tobacco was “prized” or pressed into hogshead barrels for shipping. “Two traditional types of copper stills and other vacuum-based techniques will be used for distillation and blending based on the spirit created. This use of the space and the distilling processes complement and balance the old and the new.”

According to Doug Pierson, AIA, co-founder and principal architect at pod a+d, the architectural idea for Liberty & Plenty “focuses on the entry, the bar, and on the way visitors will experience the distillery.”

To that end, he and his partner, co-founder/designer Youn Choi, have custom-designed a multi-functional “furniture bar” to accommodate product tasting, retail displays, bottle sales, and casual seating for distillery events in one elegant furniture item.

FURNITURE BAR
RENDERING OF THE MULTI-FUNCTIONAL “FURNITURE BAR,” by pod a+d

The “furniture bar” will also create a visual and physical separation between guests and the production process. A physical separation is a state requirement for all operating distilleries.

“In other words, we’ll feed two birds with one seed,” Pierson said. “The furniture bar will satisfy the state mandate while accommodating a host of distillery needs.”

Like their client, the pod a+d team also believes the textural contrast between the clean lines and smooth wood of the furniture bar and the unrefined nature of the old brick building will be part of Liberty & Plenty’s appeal.

As for the name: The unique nomenclature for Williford’s future distillery is as North Carolina-centric as the location: It’s derived from the N.C. State seal. At the center of the seal are two robed figures,  “Liberty” on the left and “Plenty” on the right.

This project marks the fourth spirits distillery that pod a+d has designed, including the 55,000-square-foot Rabbit Hole bourbon distillery in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, which has received two design awards to date.

For more information on pod architecture + design, visit www.podand.com and follow the firm on Facebook.

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 experiential graphics  –  considered simultaneously, these disciplines inform our hybrid/integrated approach to architecture. For more information: www.podand.com.

 

Blueplate PR client Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN’s Summer of 2020 “Architect To Watch”

ACS by her fireplace_cropped

Arielle Schechter on how Japan Inspires Her Design Philosophy

This architect builds for the North Carolina climate and for clients who crave sustainability.

By Jessica Mordaco

Light is the most important factor in architect Arielle Schechter’s design philosophy. Much of her design inspiration comes from Japanese architects who use screens and overhangs to block the sun while creating a seamless translucence from outdoors to indoors—that, and modernist design that connects inside spaces to nature. Schechter became interested in her craft at a young age, growing up with a famous mid-century architect as a father. “I always thought I’d work for him but, when he died, I had a lot of things I wanted to say in architecture,” she says. “I totally believe there’s no point in designing anything, much less a green building unless you’re going to make it wonderful for the people who live in it, too.”

So she started her firm Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, and she now works tirelessly to change public opinion that architects are scary and expensive to work with.

“I really don’t care how much money I make. I just want to get people to stop buying cookie-cutter, badly built developer houses that don’t have an architect involved because they’re inefficient.”

READ MORE…

INHABITAT: “Distinctly Modern Net Zero Home Sits in Harmony with its Woodland Surroundings”

5.Haw_Roof overhangs. Photo by Iman Wods copy 2
The Haw River House designed by Blueplate PR client Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA

By Nicole Jewell | Photos by Tzu Chen

Chapel Hill-based firm Arielle Condoret Schechter is known for its commitment to building sustainable homes that don’t sacrifice elegance or comfort. The company’s latest work includes the spacious Haw River House, which was built with several efficient features to create a net-zero energy home that is seamlessly linked with its natural surroundings.

Tucked into a pristine woodland overlooking the Haw River, which runs through central North Carolina, the beautiful Haw River House sits in harmony with the landscape. Using this natural setting as inspiration, the 2,600-square-foot house is outfitted with several energy-efficient features that make it completely energy-neutral. READ MORE

ARCHITECTS + ARTISANS: “A Hawk’s-Eye View from a Haw River Home”

1.Haw River House drone view copy 2

Architecture writer Mike Welton considers a new residential project by Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA. (Photo by Tzu Chen)


For a new home on the Haw River in North Carolina’s Chatham County, architect Arielle Schechter found her inspiration in two places.

One was the river. The other was a rock.

“Walking down by the riverbank, there were so many trees cantilevered and bent out over the river, that I said: ‘I want this house to bend out over the river too,’” she says.

She placed the home on the only available buildable knoll since the 21-acre site slopes steeply down to a flood plain and riparian buffer below.

As for the rock, it actually was a huge granite boulder, split down the center. “It’s super-sculptural with a thin knife-blade through the middle where rainwater flows,” she says. “The idea of bisecting something appealed to me, so I did that with the butterfly roof.”

Then there was the raptor. READ MORE

 

DWELL: “The Mason-Grabell ‘Beech’ House by Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA

4.LeftSide_screen porch, wrap around deck

5.Rear Elevation
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

Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington Presents ‘Native Places’ Illustrated Lecture and Sketching Workshop

Native Places by Frank Harmon
Cameron Art Museum

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.

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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.

For more information on Frank Harmon and Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, visit nativeplacesthebook.com.

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Frank Harmon sketching. Photo by Christine Simeloff

About Frank Harmon, FAIA

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.

 

Smart, Stylish, Sustainable: House in Beech Forest Featured on Fall Modapalooza Tour

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA
View from the kitchen at the center of the house through the dining area to the deck and the forest.

The name Arielle Condoret Schechter has become synonymous in the Triangle with smart, stylish, Net Zero Passive houses whose modern horizontal forms appear as comfortable on their sites as the forests that often surround them.

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.

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA
Arielle Schechter custom-designed all of the black walnut cabinetry in the kitchen and throughout the house.

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.

For more information on Arielle Condoret Schechter and her work, visit www.acsarchitect.com.

About Arielle Condoret Schechter:

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.

 

Chapel Hill Architect Tapped to Judge 2019 ‘Metal Construction News’ Awards

Doug P. 2019The 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.

MCN is a Modern Trade Communications, Inc., publication. For more information, go to metalconstructionnews.com.

For more information on Doug Pierson and pod architecture + design, visit www.podand.com.

 

Chapel Hill Firm Wins AIA Kentucky Award for Modern Bourbon Distillery in Downtown Louisville

New Modern Bourbon Distillery
Rabbit Hole Distillery’s transparent Manufacturing Atrium. Designed by pod architecture + design

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.”

Doug and Youn
Founder, partners, and principal designers Doug Pierson and Youn Choi.

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.

For more information on Rabbit Hole Distillery, visit www.rabbitholedistillery.com.

For more information on pod a+d, visit www.podand.com.

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, 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.