Arielle Schechter, a registered architect recognized by the A.I.A., has made a name for herself in the Triangle area for her nationally recognized custom houses, Micropolis micro-houses, and mid century renovations. She is currently based in Chapel Hill. For over 26 years, she has specialized in warm, energy-efficient, and modernist residential architecture, including cutting-edge Net-Zero design and passive house construction. Schechter studied at the North Carolina State University (NCSU) School of Design where she studied with Frank Harmon and Harwell Harris. After graduating in 1987, she worked on several projects with her father, renowned Chapel Hill architect Jon Condoret, until the mid-1990s when she became principal of her own firm…READ MORE
Project by Blueplate PR client pod architecture + design honored as world-architects.com’s US Building of the Week
Made up of new construction and the adaptive reuse of an old warehouse and church building, the Rabbit Hole Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky’s East Market District (aka Nulu) is truly a campus, with retail, dining, office and event spaces, in addition to those for manufacturing bourbon, rye, and other spirits. The architects at North Carolina’s pod architecture + design answered a few questions about the project. READ MORE
Chapel Hill-based architect and Blueplate PR client Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, recently learned that she has received two Best of Houzz Awards for 2021 — one for Design, the other for Client Service — adding to the four Best of Houzz Awards she’s received since 2016.
Houzz is a leading platform for home design and remodeling. Over 40 million unique monthly users comprise the Houzz community. The awards recognize just three percent of the 2.5 million active home professionals represented on the website.
Houzz presents its annual awards in three categories: Design, Customer Service, and Photography. The Design Awards honor professionals whose portfolios are the most popular among the Houzz community. (Follow this link to view Arielle’s Houzz portfolio.)
Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including a professional’s overall rating on Houzz and client reviews submitted in the previous year. Since she joined the platform in 2016, Arielle has maintained a “5 out of 5” rating for “Work Quality,” “Communication,” and “Value,” and she continues to accrue glowing reviews from her clients.
“I’m honored to receive both awards this year,” she said. “And I’m so grateful to all of my wonderful clients who took the time to write those kind reviews. No matter what they wrote, the pleasure was truly mine.”
To learn more about the architect and her work, visit her firm’s website: www.acsarchitect.com.
About Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA 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 houses, and her new tiny house designs, Micropolis Houses™. She is a lifelong environmentalist and animal advocate who was practicing sustainable design long before it became mainstream. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Arnie, and an assortment of foster animals in a modern house she designed. For more information: www.acsarchitect.com
Blueplate PR client’s net zero project is featured on an international platform that recognizes and acknowledges design talents from all over the world.
The Baboolal residence is a net zero house is for a multicultural family of four. The husband is Indian originally from South Africa and the wife is American. They are both in high stress professions: he is a pediatric anesthesiologist and she is a pediatric nurse. They have two small children and pets.
The impetus for building this house was their previous frustration with living in a cookie cutter developer house with a lot of wasted space and illogical planning. READ MORE
Click on the link above to see the full feature in the January/February edition of Chapel Hill Magazine on the unique modern, sustainable, custom-designed house designed by Blueplate PR clients by Doug Pierson, AIA, and Youn Choi, partners and founders of pod architecture + design in Chapel Hill, NC. This “labor of love” is for their own family of four.
October 2, 2020 (Orange County, NC) — The Triangle Sons & Daughters of Italy, a member of the Order Sons & Daughters of Italy in America, has named Blueplate PR client Mark Spano of Orange County as its 2020 Outstanding Italian-American in North Carolina. The organization will present the award during its Annual Picnic and General Membership Meeting in Raleigh on October 11.
“This is an unexpected and exciting honor,” Spano said after receiving word of the award. “I am deeply grateful.”
The grandson of Sicilian immigrants, Mark Spano has been a prolific and well-known member of North Carolina’s film and television production community for many years. Over the last decade, he focused his talents and energy on his family’s homeland as he wrote, directed, and produced “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife,” a feature-length documentary.
His goal, he said, is to introduce viewers 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, philosophic insights, and historic places.”
After its official premiere in Spano’s hometown, Kansas City, Missouri, in April 2018, “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife” played to packed houses during an initial limited theatrical run in the U.S. and Canada. It was warmly received at the Toronto Italian Film Festival and has aired on select public television stations both here and in E.U. markets. (He discusses his documentary during an interview airing now on YouTube.) The film and companion book are available on Amazon.
During the coronavirus quarantine, Spano has channeled his passion into producing a short video tribute entitled “Dreaming of Sicily.” He is also working on a show about Sicilian wines.
For more information about the 2020 Outstanding Italian-American in North Carolina and his work, visit MarkSpano.org.
Sons & Daughters of Italy in America, the Triangle
Established in 1905 as a mutual aid society for early Italian immigrants, the Order Sons & Daughters of Italy in America (OSDIA) is the largest and longest-established national organization for people of Italian descent in the U.S. with over 600,000 members and 700 chapters coast to coast.
Local Italian-Americans founded the Triangle chapter in 2004. Since then, the group has funded scholarships to support students studying the Italian language and conducted a series of programs designed to “celebrate and preserve our culture and heritage and to promote and enjoy the warm family relationships so many of us grew up with.” For more information, visit trianglesonsofitaly.org.
The crown jewel of an urban campus in the heart of downtown Louisville, the award-winning Rabbit Hole Distillery is a new, modern, 55,000-square-foot distillery introduced to an industry steeped in tradition. READ MORE
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.
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.
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.