Corten steel helps residence blend into surroundings seamlessly
By Marcy MarroEditor
Located in a wooded cul-de-sac neighborhood in Durham, N.C., this single-family residence, nicknamed Piedmont Retreat, is wrapped in vertical Corten steel panels facing the street, and vast expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass and cantilevered windows in the back that overlook the surrounding forest.
The owners reached out to Raleigh, N.C.-based Tonic Design and Tonic Construction to design and build the residence. “It’s a corner lot,” says Vincent Petrarca, co-owner, designer and contractor at Tonic Design, “so the house really had to respond to the two streets. And for us, trying to create a place that’s calm and a getaway, the idea of even a few streetlights at night on the corner, the house really had to turn its back on the street. So the house created this hard shell to that side of the property, and then it really opens up, like a geode, looking down the Piedmont ravine into the mature forest.” READ MORE…
Raleigh-based Tonic Design completed a creative new home that plays with the contrast between old and new through the use of reclaimed and contemporary materials. Tucked into the forests of Durham, the Piedmont Retreat is a 3,800-square-foot single-family home that embraces the outdoors in its use of weathered materials and large cantilevered windows. Reclaimed materials, like oak flooring and factory lights, help soften the modern steel and glass construction. READ MORE…
The Raleigh City Council has appointed architect Katherine Hogan, AIA, co-owner of Tonic Design, to the Raleigh Appearance Commission.
The City Council established The Appearance Commission in 1973 to provide guidance, advice, and recommendations regarding the visual quality and aesthetic characteristics of the City of Raleigh. The commission consists of 15 members, the majority of whom have special training or experience in architecture, landscape architecture, horticulture, city planning, or related design fields. Members serve for two years before they must be reappointed by the City Council.
The Appearance Commission also appoints standing committees for special design-related outreach and education efforts such as the Sir Walter Raleigh Awards, which recognize outstanding new contributions to the city’s character, environment, and appearance.
Hogan and her partner and co-owner at Tonic Design, Vincent Petrarca, have been the recipients of the Sir Walter Awards four times, most recently for renovating/renewing the building at 1700 Glenwood Avenue that now houses Form & Function, the building owners’ retail shop.
The Commission meets twice a month in the Council Chamber of the Raleigh Municipal Building. The meetings are open to the public.
A creative duo’s partnership is driven by client needs, site specifics, and school schedules
(Photos: Tzu Chen)
By Stacey Freed
Masonry, glass, metal, concrete … these are the building materials that Vincent “Vinny” Petrarca and Katherine Hogan, AIA, owners of the firms Tonic Design and Tonic Construction, in Raleigh, N.C., favor. “These things last over time,” Hogan says. “For over 20 years, we’ve been watching as our projects age and evolve,” she adds. The couple believes it all comes down to detailing and materials. Petrarca and Hogan, whose work has won numerous awards, put great stock in the idea that every project they do is unique—with a “particular site, a client with a vision, a budget,” Petrarca says. READ MORE…
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.
In 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.
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 Record, Residential Architect, Dwell, Custom Homes, Inform magazine, and Metal Architecture, and locally in the News & Observer, Waltermagazine, and Urban Home. For more information: www.tonic-design.com.
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: email@example.com.
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.
On Thursday, N.C. Modernist Houses announced the winners of its annual statewide modernist residential design contest.
The big winner of the 2016 George Matsumoto Prize contest is Will Alphin of Alphin Design Build. Alphin took home the first-place prize in the juried competition for a four-level house in Raleigh’s Cameron Park neighborhood. That house, 123 Hillcrest, a 6,200-square-foot house valued at about $1.6 million, also won second place in the people’s choice category. Alphin received $3,000 in prize money.
Following close behind were designers with the in situ studio in Raleigh, whose designs placed second and third in the juried competition.
N.C. Modernist Houses is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving and celebrating the state’s modernist architecture. READ MORE…
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.
About 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 Facebook. Follow NCMH on Twitter and Instagram.
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.
Within 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 restaurant 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.
Inside, 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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.