Hybrid Design Firm Moves Into Downtown Chapel Hill

pod architecture + design, chapel hill architects
L-R: Youn Choi and Doug Pierson

On August 21, pod architecture + design (pod a+d), the award-winning design firm previously located in Carrboro, moved its multi-disciplinary studio from the historic Depot on that town’s Main Street to offices at 201-A North Columbia Street in Chapel Hill.

The move reflects the partners’ desire to establish their studio in the more nationally known Chapel Hill since many of their projects are located outside North Carolina. Examples include Rabbit Hole Distillery in downtown Louisville, Kentucky; Sixty Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California; and a new distillery in Brooklyn, New York.

Doug Pierson, AIA, and his wife, experiential designer Youn Choi, are the founders, partners, and principal designers at pod a+d. They relocated the firm from Los Angeles to North Carolina a few years ago and have been operating out of the converted 1882 Depot in Carrboro since 2013.

While they’re quick to say they’ve thoroughly enjoyed the historic Depot, something was always nagging at them,..

pod a+d is licensed in five states because the firm’s work frequently takes its team of designers from North Carolina to California and other project sites in between. And more often than not, whenever they’ve told out-of-state clients that their firm is headquartered in Carrboro, the look on their faces has made them add quickly, “…which is right next door to Chapel Hill.” The nods and smiles afterward spoke volumes. Like Duke University in Durham, UNC-Chapel Hill has given the town a national reputation.

“Ultimately, it made sense to us to align our firm with that distinction,” Choi said. So they loaded a moving van at the Depot, drove a few blocks northeast, and unloaded the van at 201A North Columbia Street.

“We’re looking forward to settling into our new studio and enjoying all the opportunities available in Chapel Hill’s downtown district,” Pierson added.

The studio move has taken place just a couple of months before Pierson, Choi, and their two children will move into the new modern house they designed that’s currently under construction in Carrboro.

Modern house Chapel Hill
Model, Carrboro House

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

About pod architecture + design

pod architecture + design (pod a+d) is a full-service, award-winning, non-traditional architecture firm located in the Triangle region of North Carolina and licensed in five states. As a firm, we believe in the integration of architecture and all aspects of design to connect buildings, environment, and 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 environmental graphics  –  considered simultaneously, these disciplines inform our integrated approach to architecture. For more information: www.podand.com.

Leading Design Firms Team Up to Propose Elegant Concept for J.W. Rutledge Distillery

pod architecture + design, Luckett & Farley present scheme to investors at special event

During a special event held recently in downtown Louisville, KY, pod architecture + design (pod a+d) of Carrboro, NC, and Luckett & Farley architects and engineers of Louisville, presented a surprising concept for a modern, environmentally sustainable, mid-sized distillery to an assemblage of investors.

Designed for the event’s host, J.W. Rutledge Distillery of Middletown, KY, the 69,000-square-foot facility is intended for 140 picturesque acres of gently rolling grassland just outside Louisville. The architectural concept suggests an elegant, two-building composition linked by physical representations of various elements of the distilling process. In form and footprint, the concept engages the landscape and gently steps downward toward Floyd’s Fork, allowing the process of bourbon-making to flow naturally via gravity, from grain delivery all the way to barreling.

The distillery would also be oriented to convert the naturally occurring stillage (the byproduct of bourbon making) into energy via a biomass digester and to capture heating and cooling through a geothermal pond loop.

This innovative solution was designed by Douglas Pierson, AIA, and Youn Choi, pod a+d’s co-founders and Luckett & Farley’s President/CEO Aric Andrew and Vice President/Distilling Marketer Kyle Beasley. pod a+d and Luckett & Farley also worked together recently as architect and engineers, respectively, on the award-winning Rabbit Hole Distillery in downtown Louisville.

With a projected budget of $20-$25 million, Rutledge’s sustainable distillery will produce “World Class Bourbon and Rye whiskeys,” says Jim Rutledge, owner and multi-award-winning Master Distiller, on his website. “We will produce Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Straight Rye Whiskey the ‘old-fashioned way’ relative to the requisites, guidelines, and standards for Straight Whiskey production that have been in place for close to two centuries.”

“This one of a kind campus will engage a breathtaking site in a manner that honors an old-fashioned tradition done well while looking toward the future to thrive,” Pierson added.

The Investor Tasting Event took place in the Mint on Mellwood, a renovated industrial building in downtown Louisville. Investors enjoyed specialty bourbon and light refreshments while they discussed the proposed distillery with the J.W. Rutledge executive management team.

For more information on pod architecture + design: www.podand.com

For more information on Luckett & Farley: www.luckett-farley.com.

For more information on J.W. Rutledge Distillery: www.jwrutledgedistilleryllc.com.

Carrboro Architect Douglas Pierson Appointed to the AIA Triangle Board of Directors

Doug P. 2019Douglas Pierson, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, co-founder and a principal designer of pod architecture + design (pod a+d), has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Triangle section, American Institute of Architects (AIAT) for a two-year term.

The AIA Triangle’s mission is “to serve its members and the Triangle community by enhancing and promoting the profession of architecture.” The AIA Triangle Board of Directors governs the overall execution of the organization’s mission.

 Within the last two years, Pierson and his wife, co-founder/principal designer Youn Choi, relocated their firm and family from Los Angeles, CA, to Carrboro, establishing their studio in the historic train depot building on Main Street.

As a relative newcomer to the area, Pierson has been immersing himself in the Triangle region’s architectural community, first by becoming a Professor in Practice at the NC State School of Architecture, then by joining the Triangle Architecture & Design Society (TADS). He and Choi have also hosted a “Thirst4Architecture” networking event sponsored by North Carolina Modernist Houses and opened their studio to the public as part of AIA Triangle’s recent “Firm Crawl.”

“Joining the AIA Triangle Board is an honor and a great opportunity to serve the profession in and around our new hometown,” said Pierson. He hopes to use his experience with nonprofit organizations, community service, fundraising, advocacy, and education to support the work of the Board.

For Doug Pierson’s full biography and more information about pod a+d, visit www.podand.com and follow the firm on Facebook.

RALEIGH MAGAZINE: “A Smooth Transition”

Blueplate PR client: Tonic Design

10.Snow, right corner_75

by Jane Porter | photo by Keith Isaacs

When old design meets new, there’s often an element of surprise to the final result. For a residence in Raleigh’s Historic Cameron Park neighborhood, architect Katherine Hogan and designer Vinny Petrarca, the principals of Tonic Design, created an air of the unexpected that’s seamless and deferential, but also practical and beautiful, all at once. READ MORE

 

METAL CONSTRUCTION NEWS: “Dynamic Distillery” – Rabbit Hole takes the Grand Award

Blueplate PR client: pod architecture + design LLC

In the 2018 Metal Construction News Building & Roofing Awards

RH Ariel View

By Mark Robins, Senior Editor

Form follows process. This is contemporary bourbon maker, founder and CEO of Rabbit Hole Distilling, Kaveh Zamanian’s vision for life and for his Rabbit Hole Distillery manufacturing building in downtown Louisville, Ky. This very modern, innovative 55,000-square-foot bourbon distillery, completed in July 2018, exemplifies this vision. The judges for the 2018 Metal Construction News Building and Roofing Awards were very impressed with both the distillery’s form and process, with two of them even saying that if they saw it from a distance while out driving, they would want to drive toward it to learn and see more about it.

“The Rabbit Hole Distillery project is a new contemporary building for a new bourbon manufacturing product in an otherwise traditional industry,” says Douglas V. Pierson, AIA, LEED APBD+C, co-founder/partner, architect and design principal at pod architecture + design, Carrboro, N.C. “A design strategy of transparency was our way of showcasing in a modern way the complex process of bourbon making for all to see, and, while standing on the shoulders of giants, ridding any expectations of secret recipes and obscure traditions.”  READ MORE

Tonic Design Selected for WCPSS Master Professional Services Agreement

Blueplate PR client: Tonic Design

 To provide architecture services for Wake County public schools.

Tonic Design
Vinny Petrarca and Katherine Hogan, AIA

Tonic Design, a multi-award-winning architectural firm based in Raleigh, NC, has qualified to provide architecture services to the Wake County Public School System, the largest school district in North Carolina, under the WCPSS’s Master Professional Services Agreements.

To qualify, Tonic Design co-owners Vincent Petrarca and Katherine Hogan, AIA, met all criteria including:

  1. Expertise in the type of work the WCPSS would require.
  2. Number of years the firm has been in business.
  3. Successful past performance on similar projects that included handling budgets and scheduling.
  4. Awards and professional acknowledgments with letters of recommendation.
  5. Status as a minority business with 51 percent of the firm owned by, in this case, a woman.

Hogan, who is also a member of the City of Raleigh’s Appearance Commission, and Petrarca presented their qualifications to the WCPSS’s Facilities Design and Construction department. The agreement is in effect for two years

Tonic Design is currently working on a “Maker Space,” a new building for an existing private elementary school. The school’s administration wants to expand pedagogical opportunities through long-term projects and new technologies. Inspired by their mission, the partners have based the building’s form on sustainable design strategies. A large roof, for example, will define adaptable volumes of interior space and will let the students witness the sun tracking through the building during the school day.

About Tonic Design

Tonic Design is a multi-award-winning architecture firm located in Raleigh, NC. Among many accolades throughout their careers, principals Katherine Hogan, AIA, and Vincent Petrarca received the 2017 Kamphoefner Prize for Modern Architecture, one of the highest honors for practicing architects in the state. In 2013, they were named “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, Walter magazine, and Urban Home. For more information: www.tonic-design.com.

 

on the boards: pod architecture + design partners reveal plans for their modern house on a hillside

Blueplate PR client: pod architecture + design LLCmodern, custom-design house NC

Scale model of Carrboro House by pod architecture + design

Eager to plant their roots more deeply into their new hometown, experiential graphics designer Youn Choi and award-winning architect Doug Pierson, AIA, partners in life and founding partners of pod architecture + design (pod a+d) in Carrboro, have designed a modern house for their family of four that they’re about to build on a site that poses a host of challenges.

“No one has purchased the lot for a long time because it’s so hard to build on,” said Pierson, referring to the 1.2-acre swatch he and Choi purchased within a 12-acre preserved wooded area. “It has severe limitations: a year-round 100-foot creek setback, an oddly shaped buildable area, a steep hillside, dense forest coverage, and it’s adjacent to a floodplain.”

Yet Pierson and Choi didn’t see those issues as limiting. They saw them as inspirational.

From their design studio in the historic train depot in downtown Carrboro, Pierson explained how the land informed the custom design of the future 2500-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath modern house that he and Choi will share with their two young children.

Rendering

“We’ve chosen to honor the unique site by letting it suggest the form of the house,” he said. “So we’ve partially embedded it into the wooded hillside and opened it up to the natural meadow and creek at the lower elevations. We’ve used the strict construction limitations to establish a design that follows the usable land contours, reflects the climb in elevation by ‘hopping’ up to the higher elevation, then anchors itself back to the top. The form evolved wholly from the site limitations and our desire to maintain the meadow undisturbed.” He paused and smiled. “On a different site, it would be a different house. So we’re very happy that we found this particular site.”

Pierson, whose family hails from North Carolina, and Choi, a native of South Korea, are excited about reusing the Southern yellow pine trees that have to be felled to make room for the house. They’re having all of them milled locally then returned to the site to be repurposed as cabinetry and architectural woodwork.

According to the design, this modern, sustainable house will be a composition of sleek, rectilinear forms, at once soaring and grounded. Huge expanses of glass will frame views of the meadow, forest, and creek and allow natural light to fill the interior. The foundation and retaining walls will be polished concrete block. A terrace on the upper level will have glass overlook guardrails.

They haven’t decided on the exterior material yet. If the past is precedent, it will be corrugated metal. But Choi is still searching for a new cladding material that can be continuously wrapped around the house’s form and respond to the site and the climate.

Inside, their modern house will feature exposed structural steel, polished concrete floors over radiant heating, quartz countertops, and the repurposed southern yellow pine for custom cabinetry.

Committed to Local:

Pierson pointed out that he and Choi have hired green home builder Kevin Murphy of Newphire Building in Chapel Hill, and an all-local roster of consultants and suppliers including: structural engineer Rob Munach of Excel Engineering in Carrboro; Fitch Lumber & Hardware in Carrboro; Stonehenge Masonry and Adams/Oldcastle Products, both in Youngsville; Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp. in Mocksville; and radiant flooring expert Mike Torville of Carrboro.

The Choi-Pierson house should be completed by August of 2019.

For more information on pod a+d, go to www.podand.com and visit the blog, pod news & media. The firm is also on FacebookPinterest, and LinkedIn.

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

INHABITAT: “Micropolis custom net-zero home generates all its own energy”

Blueplate PR client: Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA

2.EXTERIOR LEFT

By Lucy Wang

When Cheryl and Ken Serdar saw one of the homes belonging to Micropolis®, a collection of sustainable and contemporary house plans designed by architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, they knew they wanted a custom home based on the original 950-square-foot “Happy Family” plan. Taking into account the couple’s needs for extra space, Schechter designed a 2,222-square-foot dwelling that also offered all of the sustainable and modern design features defined in her Micropolis® line. Located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, the custom net-zero home is the most energy-efficient residence that the architect has designed to date. READ MORE…

Custom Home online: “Hillcrest House Addition: An Innovative Approach to Old + New”

Tonic Design Modern Addition to Traditional House
By keeping the addition’s mass within the planes of the original house and dividing the public and private spaces between two floors, a backyard is retained on a narrow inner-city lot. (Photo by Keith Isaacs)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The project involved designing a modern, 1500-square-foot addition for a two-story, red brick, Georgian Revival-style house built in 1916 in a historic inner-city neighborhood with narrow lots and minimal set-backs between houses.

The addition would become the primary hub of activity for a growing family and an ideal space for entertaining. Programmatically, it would include an open kitchen, dining, living area and a spacious master bedroom suite.

To uphold the general scale of this neighborhood and the manner in which the existing house has addressed the street for over 100 years, the addition’s mass is held within the outer planes of the old house, tucked against its rear elevation.

And unlike other proposals the owners had seen, the plan divided the public and private spaces between two stories rather than letting the new construction consume the majority of the property. As a result, the architects retained a generous backyard for outdoor play space.  READ MORE

Kentucky bourbon and brisket: pod architecture + design hosts Thirst4Architecture August 16

pod architecture + design
The pod a+d team: L-R Wendy Broome, Youn Choi, Barbara Ngaboyamahina, Dougald Fountain, and Doug Pierson Not pictured: interns from Doug’s third-year design studio at the NCSU College of Design, Dept. of Architecture — Casey Calhoun and Nailah Watts-Harper.

For the first time since moving back to North Carolina from the West Coast, Youn Choi and Doug Pierson, founders and principals of pod architecture + design (pod a+d) in Carrboro, will host Thirst4Architecture (T4A) to celebrate modern architecture and the people in the Triangle who love it on Thursday, August 16, from 6-8 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the event is one of the monthly happy hour networking social occasions established by North Carolina Modernist Houses and will be held in the firm’s studio in the historic train depot in the heart of downtown Carrboro.

T4A is an opportunity for anyone interested in and associated with modern architecture to mix, mingle, and build relationships with other modern design enthusiasts in a relaxed, casual environment. Pierson and Choi will provide the location, food, and beverages while participants get an up-close look at pod a+d’s work through models and drawings.

A Special Treat for T4A Guests

Award-winning architect Doug Pierson, AIA, recently attended the grand opening of one of his firm’s most ambitious projects to date: Rabbit Hole Distillery, a state-of-the-art, 55,000-square-foot, $15 million bourbon distillery and campus in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

For their T4A event, Pierson and Choi are having Rabbit Hole’s award-winning bourbon shipped to Carrboro. The bar staff provided by Drew Moore, owner of CrossTies Barbeque (201-East Main Street) and several other local establishments, will serve special bourbon-based cocktails as well as “straight” and “on the rocks” options, and soft drinks for pod a+d’s August 16 event.

Moore is also providing CrossTie’s popular “Brisket Slides” for the evening’s savory selection.

 “As local as possible”

Pierson and Choi, partners in life as well as work, are relative newcomers to the Triangle architecture and design community, having recently returned from living and working on the West Coast. Their new modern house in Carrboro, which they designed together for their family of four, is under construction and will plant their roots here even deeper.

“We’re so happy to be back,” Pierson said, “that we’re doing everything we can to be as ‘local’ as possible. That’s why we chose space in the old depot for our offices. We’re active in the community, we shop at the Farmers Market and Weaver Street, and we’re working with one of the best high-performance, or ‘green,’ homebuilders for our new house: Kevin Murphy of Newphire Building in Chapel Hill. We’re also hiring all-local subcontractors and vendors, including the lumber supplier.” He smiled. “And we’re always free to talk when people walk in and tell us that our space doesn’t look like a barbeque joint.” He explained that people often mistake the firm’s front door for the entrance to Cross Ties.

pod architecture + design is located at 201-A East Main Street, Carrboro, NC (919.246.6466) For more information, visit www.podand.com. pod a + d is also available on Facebook.