CUSTOM BUILDER: “Backstory: Playing Both Sides”

A creative duo’s partnership is driven by client needs, site specifics, and school schedules

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(Photos: Tzu Chen)

 

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Sir Walter Salutes Five Points Icon: Tonic Design receives 2017 Sir Walter Raleigh Award

1700 Glenwood Before_After

1700 Glenwood Avenue before (bottom) and after (top).

For transforming an odd, vacant eyesore into a gleaming glass, energy-efficient commercial building that deserves its place at the pinnacle of Raleigh’s Five Points intersection, Tonic Design principals Katherine Hogan, AIA, and Vincent Petrarca received a 2017 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Community Appearance for their work on the building at 1700 Glenwood Avenue.

The awards jury called Tonic Design’s work “a well-done project in a very visible location” and noted the manner in which the 5800-square-foot structure “provides lots of light [and] awesome views from within at all levels.”

The mid-century modern, two-story building at the junction of Glenwood Avenue, Fairview Road, and Whitaker Mill houses three thriving businesses today. Yet it has fascinated passersby since 1964 when it was built for a progressive dry cleaner who enclosed the upper story in glass to show off its state-of-the-art mechanization. In 1979, an audio repair and computer equipment business took over the space and, for 28 years, Raleigh residents knew it as the “Audio Buys building.”

Audio Buys closed in 2007 and the building sat vacant for four years. In 2011, the owners hired Tonic Design, an award-winning design-build firm, to upgrade it for leasing to a new generation of tenants.

After installing new, insulated glazing, a custom shade system over the floor-o-ceiling glass walls, and zinc siding, the building could now shade its interior from glare and reduces summer heat gain by more than 70 percent. Yet it continued to languish uninhabited.

McConnell-Continuum-04In 2016, new owners called the Tonic partners back in, this time to increase the building’s function and make it more accessible. Among other improvements, the duo created a new glass-enclosed entry, staircase, and elevator tower; transformed the existing roof into a roof garden with spectacular views in every direction; and added a two-story steel sculpture (left) by McConnell Studios, entitled “Continuum,” to the West Whitaker elevation.

Tonic’s award emanated from the Rehabilitation/History Preservation category, which honors the preservation or rehabilitation of existing buildings, especially Raleigh’s historic resources. “The designers have done a great job further repurposing a building instead of knocking it down,” the jury commented.

For more information on the Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Community Appearance, go to www.raleighnc.gov/sirwalterraleighawards. For more information on 1700 Glenwood Avenue and Tonic Design, visit www.tonic-design.com.

About Tonic Design:

Tonic Design is a multi-award-winning design-build firm in Raleigh, NC. Among many accolades throughout their careers, principals Katherine Hogan and Vincent Petrarca were named 2013’s “Rising Stars” by Residential Architect magazine. Their projects have been featured in a host of national publications, including Architectural RecordResidential Architect, DwellCustom Homes, Inform magazine, and Metal Architecture, and locally in the News & ObserverWaltermagazine, and Urban Home.  For more information: www.tonic-design.com.

 

Trig Modern Announces…

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Architects and designers create cool, modern cat houses for an auction to benefit SAFE Haven For Cats.

Trig Modern design center and showroom in Raleigh announces “The Cat’s Meow,” an auction of modern, professionally designed houses for cats to benefit SAFE Haven for Cats, a non-profit, no-kill shelter in Raleigh dedicated to finding homes for homeless cats and kittens.

The auction will be held Wednesday, May 10th, from 6-8 p.m., during a Cocktail Party in Trig Modern’s showroom in Dock 1053, 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road. Raleigh. The Auction and Party are free and open to the public. Professional auctioneer Ben Ferrell is donating his services.

Ann Marie Baum, Trig Modern’s lead interior designer and a SAFE Haven volunteer, has issued Invitations to architects and designers throughout the Triangle area to create “cool, modern cat houses that people who love cats will be delighted to have in their homes. So we’re encouraging participating designers to think of their contributions as furniture or accessories that will contribute to, rather than detract from, someone’s décor.”

Modern design and quality construction are also imperative, she stressed, “so that the houses will fetch substantial prices. This is a fundraiser after all!”

Baum and Trig Modern’s owner, Bob Drake, were inspired to organize and present “The Cat’s Meow” after seeing the results of a similar event that architects in Los Angeles. “How cool can a cat house be? Just take a look at these,” she said, referencing Los Angeles Architects For Animals fundraiser for a local nonprofit.

“We are so excited about ‘The Cat’s Meow’ auction to help formerly stray cats find their home-sweet-home’ literally,” said Pam Miller, founder and president of SAFE Haven for Cats. “This is a creative, fun, and practical way to help abandoned cats and kittens find the first real home they have ever known. We’re so grateful to Trig Modern for hosting this event.”

Completed cat houses will be delivered to Trig Modern May 4-6 and remain on display in the showroom until the night of the Cocktail Party and Auction. Those interested in bidding may stop in the showroom anytime during business hours (Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to take a close look at the little houses prior to the auction.

Anyone interested in participating in “The Cat’s Meow” – by designing a cathouse, providing in-kind donations, etc. – should contact Ann Marie Baum as soon as possible either by phone at Trig Modern, 919.516.8744 or by emailing her: annmariebaum7@gmail.com.

For more information on Trig Modern, visit www.trigmodern.com.

About Trig Modern:

Founded in December 2012, Trig Modern is owned and operated by furniture and lighting designer Bob Drake. Through its combination of modern and mid-century-inspired furniture, lighting, wall and floor coverings, and accessories, as well as Modern kitchen and bath remodeling services, Trig Modern’s mission is to present a realistic portrait of sensible living and offer an antidote to excess, formality, and convention. For more information visit www.trigmodern.com, call 919.516.8744 and find Trig Modern on Facebook. The showroom is located at 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road, Suite 109, Raleigh, NC 27604.

About SAFE Haven for Cats:

SAFE Haven’s mission is to ensure the well-being of every cat through adoption, affordable spay/neuter services, community outreach and adherence to no-kill principles. The shelter receives no government funds and relies solely on private donations for 84p percent of its budget. Visit safehavenforcats.org for more information.

 

NEWS & OBSERVER HOME & GARDEN: “The 2016 winners in the annual George Matsumoto Prize modernist house contest”

123 Hillcrest
123 Hillcrest

ARCHITECT MAGAZINE: “The Shortlist for This Year’s Matsumoto Prize Awards”

Medlin Residence by in situ studio. (Photo by Richard Leo Johnson)
Medlin Residence by in situ studio. (Photo by Richard Leo Johnson)

The annual program hosted by Durham, N.C.-based nonprofit organization, North Carolina Modernist Houses, selected 16 sites for its shortlist honoring modernist residential architect George Matsumoto.

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) has selected a shortlist of 16 submissions for this year’s Matsumoto Prize Awards. Recognizing modernist residences across the U.S. South, the Matsumoto Prize projects must be located within the region to be eligible. However, designers and architects can be located outside of it. This program is one of many conducted by NCMH, the Durham, N.C.-based nonprofit organization founded by 2016 AIA Collaborative Achievement Award winner George Smart (now NCMH’s executive director) that documents, preserves, and promotes modernist architecture across the country. READ MORE…

Durham’s BuildSense To Host June’s “Thirst4Architecture”

The BuildSense building in downtown Durham.
The BuildSense building in downtown Durham.

BuildSense, an award-winning design-build firm located in downtown Durham, will host “Thirst4Architecture,” a networking event sponsored by North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) and Emilie Huin of Triangle Modern Homes Real Estate, on Thursday, June 16, from 6-8 p.m., in the firm’s offices at 502 Rigsbee Avenue.

T4A events are opportunities for architects, artists, building managers, contractors, engineers, furniture dealers, realtors, and anyone else interested in Modernist residential design to connect and create strategic alliances in a casual environment. The hosts provide refreshments and other entertainment while introducing T4A participants to their businesses.

Founded by Randall Lanou and Erik Van Mehlman in 1999, BuildSense Inc. is a full-service architecture and construction firm known for designing and building both modern and traditional sustainable, energy efficient homes and renovations. The firm frequently participates in NCMH events, including homes tours and the Matsumoto Prize for Residential Design.

Those attending the June T4A will be able to tour the firm’s ca. 1945 building that served as an auto service center for 30 years before Lanou and Mehlman retrofitted into one of the most energy-efficient buildings in downtown Durham in 2014. For more information on BuildSense, including directions to the offices, visit www.buildsense.com.

For more information on NCMH and the locations for future Thirst4Architecture events, visit www.ncmodernist.org.

redchair smAbout NC Modernist Houses:

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) is an award-winning, 501C3 nonprofit organizations established in 2007 and dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design. This year, the American Institute of Architects awarded NCMH founder and director George Smart its Collaborative Achievement Award for his work with NCMH. The website www.ncmodernist.org is now the largest open digital archive for Modernist residential design in America. NCMH also hosts popular architecture events every month and frequent home tours, giving the public access to the most exciting residential architecture, past and present. These tours and events raise awareness and help preserve these “livable works of art” for future generations. For more information: www.ncmodernist.org. Find NCMH on FacebookFollow NCMH on Twitter and Instagram.

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Media contact:

Kim Weiss, Blueplate PR

919.272.8615; blueplatepr@gmail.com

Image attached: BuildSense building in downtown Durham, courtesy BuildSense

Re-imagining The Neighborhood Grocery: The Raleigh Architecture Co. Completes Standard Foods

The Raleigh Architecture Co.
Standard Foods’ restaurant section designed by The Raleigh Architecture Co.

When Standard Foods opened in downtown Raleigh’s Person Street Plaza this fall, owners John Holmes and Scott Crawford finally revealed their vision for an all-locally sourced, farm-to-table grocery store and restaurant, both of which celebrate “the food, farmers, and artisanal production methods of our region,” according to the website.

Stand.Foods1 low_resWithin the Plaza, a redevelopment project that includes Raleigh City Farm, Yellow Dog Bakery, and other locally owned businesses, something else happened. Standard Foods’ physical space revealed The Raleigh Architecture Company’s interpretation of a shopping and dining experience that is at-once modern, urban, and artisanal.

A few months earlier, while the project was still under construction, John Holmes told the Independent Weekly, “We want the design to reflect what we’re trying to do with the food.” With that in mind, he and Crawford turned to Craig Kerins, AIA, and Robby Johnston, AIA, of The Raleigh Architecture Co (RACo), a local firm well known for custom retail designs and quality craftsmanship.

“The challenge,” Kerins said, “was to create a design concept for the StandFoods3 low_resrestaurant and bar that is reinforced by our selection of authentic and natural materials and honest detailing.”

Ted Van Dyke of New City Design served as architect of record for the project with RACo as design architect for the front-of-the-house (areas open to the public) and the exterior.

Standard Foods is a 3000-square-foot grocery store, butcher shop, and 80-seat restaurant. The restaurant side features a 26-seat communal table and a 16-seat bar.

Outside, weathered steel slats trace the upper edge of the one-story, matte-charcoal exterior and provide shading for large windows that frame views of the Raleigh City Farm 20 yards away. Eventually the slats will also support plantings to add more shade and elements of the farm to the façade.

StandFoods4 low_resInside, market and restaurant spaces flow into each other and the matte-charcoal reappears on background walls that enhance natural sapele wood and slate wall panels in the market, and heart pine tables and chairs in the restaurant. Metal refrigeration cases gleam under energy-efficient lighting, and accents of marble and leather add upscale elements to the simple, natural materials.

Part handcrafted, part sophisticated, the total design creates a distinctive identity for Standard Foods. Yet the colors and textures of the food – in the market or served on the tables – are the main attractions.

To ensure a community-oriented shopping experience, the aisles in the grocery store area are tight, reminiscent of an urban bodega. The spacing creates an intimate experience with the products. Benches between aisles encourage shoppers to linger.

“Most of us view grocery shopping as a chore,” observed architect Robby Johnston. “Our goal was to make this grocery store an experience – to give shoppers a feeling that’s fresh and friendly with an immediate perception of value.”

Standard Foods is a joint venture between Holmes, the president of real estate firm Hobby Properties, and Crawford, the former chef of Herons at The Umstead in Cary and twice a James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef in the Southeast. The men call their partnership The Nash Hospitality Group. For more information, go to standard-foods.com.

The Raleigh Architecture Co. is frequently commissioned for urban up-fits in existing buildings in downtown Raleigh. A few of the partners’ completed projects include Arrow Haircuts and NuvoNivo on Hargett Street, Runologie and State of Beer on Hillsborough Street, Trophy Brewing Company on Maywood Avenue and Crank Arm Brewing Company on West Davie Street. For more information, visit www.raleigh-architecture.com.

About The Raleigh Architecture Company:

The Raleigh Architecture Company is an award-winning design-build firm specializing in Modern sustainable architecture and craftsman-quality construction. As licensed architects and general contractors, we consider designing and building to be one integrated process. This streamlined approach empowers the firm to meet clients’ economic expectations and to seamlessly execute high quality details, both small and large. The firm’s office and shop are located under one roof in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District at 502 S. West Street. For more information visit www.raleigh-architecture.com, call 919-831-2995, or email: info@raleigh-architecture.com.

 

The Raleigh Architecture Co. Hires New Project Manager

Craig Kerins, AIA, and Robby Johnston, AIA, partners in The Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo) announce that Claire Craven has joined their firm as a project manager.

Claire Craven
Claire Craven

Craven received her Bachelor of Architecture degree in 2012 from the University of Tennessee’s College of Architecture and Design, where she received a Faculty Design Award for the best design project of her graduating class. She also received an Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EURēCA) Award was a member of Tau Sigma Delta, the architecture honor society. She graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Craven worked with Gray Organschi Architecture, a design-build office in New Haven, CT, before relocating to Raleigh and joining The Raleigh Architecture Co.

Her skills range from drawing in all design phases to project and construction management. She is also fluent in French and an accomplished graphic designer.

In addition to design, Claire’s interests include teaching, traveling, and working with “off-the-shelf materials because everything can be beautiful if treated thoughtfully.”

The Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo) is a full-service design-build-fabrication firm with its offices and workshop under one roof in Raleigh’s warehouse district. For more information, visit www.raleigh-architecture.com.

About The Raleigh Architecture Company:

The Raleigh Architecture Company is an award-winning design-build firm specializing in Modern sustainable architecture, and craftsman-quality construction. As licensed architects and general contractors, we consider designing and building to be one integrated process. This streamlined approach empowers us to meet our clients’ economic expectations and to seamlessly execute high quality details, both small and large. Our office and shop are located under one roof in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District at 502 S. West Street. For more information visit www.raleigh-architecture.com, call 919-831-2995, or email: info@raleigh-architecture.com.

The Raleigh Architecture Co. Completes Second Tasty Beverage Beer Shop

The Raleigh Architecture Co.Transforming a historic auto showroom space in downtown Asheville.

(Asheville, NC) —  The Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo) recently completed the design of the Tasty Beverage bottle shop and tasting room in Asheville, NC, following on the success of the first Tasty Beverage that opened in Raleigh in 2011.

For his new shop in Western North Carolina, Johnny Belflower chose 4883 square feet on the first floor of the 1928 Conabeer Chrysler Building on Coxe Street, a three-story steel-frame building faced in orange brick and limestone. The first floor was the original auto showroom. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Structures in 1979.

Keenly aware of the building’s historic significance, RACo partners Craig Kerins, AIA, and Robby Johnston, AIA, were careful to preserve key elements of the building’s interior shell – including copper-clad windows, plaster moldings, tiled floors – as they shaped it into Tasty Beverage.

“Simple, minimal detailing lets the old character of the building stay primary,” Kerins said of the open, spacious interior that features a small bar with 10 taps in one corner, plenty of additional seating at tables and benches, and an abundance of retail shelving.

Ashville’s Tasty Beverage joins several breweries within walking distance in the city’s South Slope district, an area of the city that’s come to be known as the Beer District. For more information, visit http://avl.tastybeverageco.com.

The Raleigh Architecture Co. has been involved with the design of several beer-centric establishments, including Crank Arm Brewing, State of Beer, and Trophy Brewing, all in Raleigh. For more information on RACo, visit http://www.raleigh-architecture.com.

About The Raleigh Architecture Company:

The Raleigh Architecture Company is an award-winning design/build firm specializing in Modern sustainable architecture, and craftsman-quality construction. As licensed architects and general contractors, we consider designing and building to be one integrated process. This streamlined approach empowers us to meet our clients’ economic expectations and to seamlessly execute high quality details, both small and large. Our office and shop are located under one roof in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District at 502 S. West Street. For more information visit www.raleigh-architecture.com, call 919-831-2995, or email: info@raleigh-architecture.com.

Modapalooza Tour To Visit The Raleigh Architecture Company’s Wynne Street Houses

Raleigh architecture co.
#liveonwynne

Three new, modern, for-sale houses in east-central Raleigh.

Three new, modern, for-sale houses on Wynne Street in downtown Raleigh, designed by The Raleigh Architecture  Co. (RACo), will be part of the “Modapalooza Tour” on Saturday, October 10, sponsored by North Carolina Modernist Houses, an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting modernist residential design from the 1950s to today.

The annual “Modapalooza Tour” takes participants by bus to a selection of new and mid-century modernist houses around the Triangle area. The 10 houses on this year’s tour, however, are all “new,” dating from 2012 to 2015.

RACo partners Robby Johnston, AIA, and Craig Kerins, AIA, are working in collaboration with Monarch Properties to design and develop the Wynne Street houses, which are nearing completion, in an established inner-city neighborhood in east-central Raleigh.

Rising side-by-side on previously empty lots, the houses are two-story, 1805-square-foot structures with open living/dining/kitchen spaces, three bedrooms, and two-and-a-half baths. They feature open, double-height space on the first floors filled with natural light from an abundance of energy-efficient windows and skylights. The kitchens will have simple, modern European-style cabinetry systems.

Covered front porches on each house face out towards the neighborhood, while sliding glass doors and covered second-floor balconies provide private access to the backyard.

Each of the houses also features a host of structurally sound, energy-efficient elements to ensure their durability against decades of use and North Carolina-specific weather conditions.

One of the RACo partners will be on site for the sold-out tour to discuss the design concept and to answer questions. For more information on the houses, visit the development’s website www.liveonwynne.com.

For more information on The Raleigh Architecture Co., visit www.raleigh-architecture.com.

About The Raleigh Architecture Company:

The Raleigh Architecture Company is an award-winning design-build firm specializing in Modern sustainable architecture, and craftsman-quality construction. As licensed architects and general contractors, we consider designing and building to be one integrated process. This streamlined approach empowers us to meet our clients’ economic expectations and to seamlessly execute high quality details, both small and large. Our office and shop are located under one roof in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District at 502 S. West Street. For more information visit www.raleigh-architecture.com, call 919-831-2995, or email: info@raleigh-architecture.com.

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