METAL ARCHITECTURE: “A Modern Retreat”

Corten steel helps residence blend into surroundings seamlessly

Piedmont Retreat6

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…

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Works In Progress: Chapel Hill Architect Arielle Schechter, AIA, Announces Three New Residential Projects

PrivacyForTwo

RENDERING: PRIVACY FOR TWO

December 11, 2017 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, Architect, a full-service architecture firm based in Chapel Hill, NC, has announced three new residential projects, each with remarkably different aspirations.

Big House for a Big Family: Arielle Schechter, principal and founder, describes one of her newest clients as a “big, loving, blended family with kids and more kids on the way.” The family needs a generously sized modern house “for the rest of their lives,” she said, with plenty of space for the family as it is today and as it will be in the future as it expands with spouses and grandchildren.

One response will be a huge playroom to allow for ping pong, pool, and foosball “at any hour of the day or night.” The playroom will connect directly to the house and to the outdoors, allowing access to a future swimming pool. “This house is all about togetherness and family fun,” Schechter noted.

Privacy for Two: A husband and wife anxious to escape what they call a “soul-deadening” cookie-cutter residential development, have hired Schechter to plan and design a very private new home that will let them “just disappear into the woods,” she said. The “woods” she refers to are in Chatham County.

According to the architect, they are a modest couple and want a modern but simple, unpretentious, age-in-place design that let them live out their lives together in peace, away from the restrictions of a housing development.

One of Schechter’s inspirations was her clients’ request for “a sheltered place to sit outside and watch the rain.” In response, she has designed a deeply cantilevered roof where they can sit outside and enjoy the rain without getting wet.

A Doctor in the House: Schechter’s third new project is a modern residence for a doctor who teaches and practices at Duke University, his wife, and their son. The family moved to Durham from New York City. Their primary objective is a family home for three that maintains the parents’ connection to their young son.

One design decision directly related to that concept: a second-floor bridge that “floats” over an open, double-height living room. The bridge connects the master suite to their son’s suite, both of which are on the second floor. The lower level will feature the public spaces – living, dining, kitchen areas — and guest rooms that can double as an office or den.

For more information on Arielle Schechter and to see her built work as well as other “On The Boards” projects, visit 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 plans, the Micropolis Houses™. She is a lifelong environmentalist and began practicing green design long before it became mainstream. She is also a lifelong animal advocate who 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.

 

 

 

INHABITAT: “Weathered steel and reclaimed materials blend a modern home into the woods.”

Piedmont Retreat5

by Lisa Wang

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…

On The Boards: Arielle Condoret Schechter Designs A Modern Family Destination

Modern Cabin

Modernist architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, has a host of projects underway these days. Among the residential work taking shape in her home studio and office, high atop Stillhouse Bluff in Chapel Hill, is a Modern Cabin out in rural Orange County, North Carolina.

A couple from San Francisco commissioned Schechter to design their Modern Cabin where one of their sons will live for a few years until they permanently relocate to North Carolina.

The couple asked the architect for a “sort of rustic but more modern cabin” that would become their permanent home as well as a family get-together destination optimized for comfortable visits with their two children.

Unlike stereotypical cabins, Schechter’s design expresses its modernity in materials, space, and architectural vocabulary. Abundant glazing will welcome sunlight and panoramic views of the wooded setting into the house. Under flat rooflines, the open floor plan will provide a natural, unfettered journey through the house and outside onto balconies and porches.

Like any well-designed cabin, traditional or modern, the structure will be efficient and durable. Schechter expects construction to begin this spring.

For more information on the architect and to see her built work as well as other “On The Boards” projects, visit 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 plans, the Micropolis Houses™. She is a lifelong environmentalist and began practicing green design long before it became mainstream. She is also a lifelong animal advocate who 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.

CUSTOM BUILDER: “Backstory: Playing Both Sides”

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

Piedmont Retreat-23 copy_0

(Photos: Tzu Chen)

 

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.

 

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…

Chapel Hill Architect Arielle Condoret Schechter Wins “Best of Houzz 2016” Award

Best of Houzz BadgeFrom among remodeling and design professionals in North America and around the world

Architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, of Chapel Hill, NC, has won a “Best Of Houzz 2016” award in the Customer Service category.

Houzz is a leading platform for home remodeling and design. Over 35 million unique monthly users that comprise the Houzz community chose Schechter’s firm from among more than one million active home building, remodeling, and design industry professionals represented on the platform.

The Best Of Houzz awards are presented annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service, and Photography. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional receives during the year. As a result, a “Best Of Houzz 2016” badge appears on winners’ Houzz profiles to help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area.

“I’m surprised and thrilled to receive this honor,” Schechter said. “And I want to

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA
Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA

thank all of my wonderful clients who wrote those kind reviews.”

“Anyone building, remodeling, or decorating looks to Houzz for the most talented and service-oriented professionals” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “We’re so pleased to recognize Arielle’s work this way.”

In 2015, Schechter received a “Recommended on Houzz” honor.

To see Schechter’s Houzz page, click here. For more information on the firm, visit 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 riding on the green design train 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

About Houzz:

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.

 

Chapel Hill Architect and Builder Continue To Raise The Bar For Green Design and Construction

Arielle Condoret Schechter
Rendering, eastern elevation

After stealing the show during the 2015 Green Home Tour with “Happy Meadows,” the modern, net-zero passive house she designed in Pittsboro, NC, Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, now has another modern, net-zero, passive house-inspired home under construction – this time in Chapel Hill, and this time for the custom green homebuilder who helped her create Happy Meadows: Kevin Murphy of Newphire Building.

For the past decade, “greenwashing” has run rampant in the home building industry. Simply put, “greenwashing” occurs when an architect, contractor, or home builder spends more time and money claiming to be “green” through advertising and marketing than actually implementing practices that minimize environmental impact.

Arielle Schechter and Kevin Murphy take environmental impact very seriously.

Arielle Condoret Schechter, Chapel Hill architect
Rendering, front elevation

According to Murphy, the 2950-square-foot house Schechter has designed for his family of four will be “a warm and functional family home as well as a showcase of cutting-edge green building techniques.”

Architecturally, the house effortlessly combines environmental stewardship with the simple volumes, flat rooflines, open floor plan, and indoor-outdoor living that define modern styling. The first floor will feature a spacious living/dining/kitchen area connected to a screen porch that will extend the living space outdoors. The master bedroom wing will be located on the first floor with the children’s suite – complete with a multipurpose music and entertainment room –  and home office upstairs. Typical of Schechter’s residential work, a private interior courtyard will link all spaces together.

The house is located on a 4.3-acre site at the end of a private gravel road that is very secluded yet only a seven-minute drive from Chapel Hill or Carrboro. Despite the size of the lot, stream buffers, setbacks to existing well and septic concerns, and a new leach field left Murphy with a surprisingly small area on which to build his house.

Rendering, rear corner at screened porch
Rendering, rear corner at screened porch

The site’s eastern line runs down to the branch of a small creek. Beyond the creek, dozens of acres of Triangle Land Conservancy property provides a lush buffer for wildlife. The screen porch faces the forest.

Far from “greenwashing,” the Murphy home will be “net zero/net positive,” meaning that it will produce as much energy as it uses and probably even more. “We anticipate a National Green Building Standard ‘Gold’ rating,” Murphy noted.

Murphy said he will employ the techniques he’s learned while building Certified Passive Houses. His home will be super-insulated and extremely air tight, far beyond regular building code requirements. To provide the home with fresh air, Murphy and Schechter will utilize the cutting-edge Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator (CERV) that they used at the Happy Meadows home. The CERV filters, dehumidifies and tempers incoming fresh air before distributing it to the living area. The home will be heated and cooled by two tiny Fujitsu mini-split heat pumps and all of the windows will be high performance, European, triple-pane tilt and turn by Awilux. As a result, the house will need only a small array of photovoltaic (solar) panels to produce all the electricity the house will need.

To maximize both passive and active solar gain, the house’s axis run east to west, thereby capturing an abundance of southern sunlight.

According to its architect and builder/homeowner, this modern, high-performance house will be part of the 2016 Green Home Tour sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange and Chatham counties.

For more information on Arielle Condoret Schechter, visit www.acsarchitect.com. For more information on NewPhire Building: www.newphirebuilding.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 riding on the green design train 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

Restoring Cities and Nature: Raleigh Architect Frank Harmon To Address Seattle AIA

frank harmon postcard final

Raleigh architect and educator Frank Harmon, FAIA, will be the keynote speaker for the 2015 Residential Design Forum presented by the American Institute of Architects Seattle, WA., chapter (AIA Seattle) on Monday, June 8 at 6:30 p.m.

Harmon, principal and founder of the award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect PA, has designed sustainable modern buildings across the Southeast for 30 years. His work engages pressing contemporary issues such as place-less-ness, sustainability and restoring cities and nature.

His buildings recall the materials of their region, from using hurricane-felled cypress and rock from local quarries to connect the structure to its landscape. The airy breezeways, outdoor living spaces, deep overhangs, and wide lawns embody the romanticism of the South while maintaining a distinguished modernism.

A graduate of the Architectural Association in London, he is a Professor-in-Practice at the NC State University College of Design, he has taught at the Architectural Association, and he has been a visiting critic at Harvard, the University of Virginia, and the Rural Studio at Auburn University.

n 2013, Harmon received the F. Carter Williams Gold Medal from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA NC), the highest honor bestowed upon a North Carolina architect. He holds numerous awards recognizing his contributions to design and sustainability, and his firm has been included in Architect magazine’s “Top 50″ list three times.

As a noted writer and illustrator, his recent project, Native Places, uses hand-drawn sketches and mini-essays to examine the relationship between nature and built structures. He is a primary contributor to Activate 14, an AIA NC initiative to educate the public on the benefits of good design and sustainability through a series of summer events and design competitions.

Harmon’s presentation will take place at Exchange Building Suite 410, 821 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. For more information: http://spacecityseattle.org/.

For more information on Frank Harmon, visit www.frankharmon.com.

Frank Harmon, FAIA
Frank Harmon, FAIA

About Frank Harmon:

Frank Harmon, FAIA, is principal of the multi-award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, NC, a Professor in Practice at NC State University’s College of Design, and the 2013 winner of AIA North Carolina’s F. Carter Williams Gold Medal, the highest honor presented by the Chapter to an AIA NC member to recognize a distinguished career and extraordinary accomplishments as an architect. In 2010 Harmon was included in Residential Architect’s inaugural “RA 50: The Short List of Architects We Love.” In 2013, his firm was ranked 21st among the top 50 firms in the nation by Architect Magazine. Frank Harmon is also the author and illustrator for NativePlaces.org, a series in which he uses hand-drawn sketches and mini-essays to examine the relationship between nature and built structures. For more information: www.frankharmon.com. Contact information: frank@frankharmon.com;919.829.9464; 14 East Peace Street, Raleigh, NC 27604.

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