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

modern, 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.

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On The Boards: pod architecture + design partners reveal plans for their modern house on a hillside.

modern, 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

According to the design, this modern, sustainable house will be a composition of sleek, rectilinear forms, at once soaring and grounded.

“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.

modern custom-designed house
Rendering by pod architecture + design

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.

“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 Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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.

NC Architect To Conduct Construction Tour of Rabbit Hole Distillery for AIA Central Kentucky Chapter

Doug Pierson will take professional peers through his latest project in Louisville.

RabbitHole1

Carrboro, NC-based architect Doug Pierson, AIA, of pod architecture + design (pod a+d) will conduct a construction tour of the new 55,000-square-foot Rabbit Hole distillery and campus he designed in downtown Louisville, KY, for the American Institute of Architects Central Kentucky Chapter on Tuesday, April 17, beginning at 5 p.m.

Rabbit Hole founder and CEO Kaveh Zamanian and structural/mechanical engineers from Luckett & Farley will join Pierson in giving participating architects “an overview of the inspirations, revelations, and explorations behind the Rabbit Hole distillery with the focus on structural/MEP systems, design excellence, and the user experience,” AIA Kentucky said in its invitation to members.

According to Pierson and his partner/wife Youn Choi, the design embraces the owner’s desire for transparency, as well as a “form follows process strategy, allowing the building to take shape in response to the bourbon production process it will house.

The abundance of glass throughout the building satisfies the desire for transparency – from the inside out and the outside in. Tours will let visitors see each step along the process of creating world-renowned bourbon. During the day, the transparent/translucent structure will provide panoramic views from the inside to NuLu’s historic streetscape, downtown Louisville’s main street, and the barges and bridges along the Ohio River.

Located on an entire city block at 711 East Jefferson Street in the historic NuLu district, Rabbit Hole Distilling is Louisville’s newest high-end craft distillery. Construction began in October 2016. The grand opening is scheduled for Derby Day, Wednesday, May 5th.

Pierson and Choi are well-known in Louisville for having designed the highly acclaimed “Green Building,” Louisville’s first commercial Platinum LEED-certified building and Kentucky’s first Platinum LEED adaptive reuse structure.

Click here for more information on the April Tour.

Click here for more information on Rabbit Hole Distilling.

Click here for more information on the Rabbit Hole Distillery project.

ARCHITECTS + ARTISANS: “In Louisville, Rabbit Hole Distillery”

By Mike Welton

When Saturday, May 5 rolls around in Louisville, Ky., there’ll be more to celebrate than the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby.

At the corner of Jefferson and Market Streets downtown, a new distillery called Rabbit Hole will hold its grand opening – with a Derby Day party.

“It’s a start-up – 60,000 square feet with fermenters and a couple of stills,” says architect Doug Pierson of Carrboro, N.C.-based pod architecture + design. “When opening day comes, they wanted to be ready to go – during construction, they started their process in a secret location.”

Pierson and his partner Youn Choi designed the distillery as a transparent affair, studying the path of bourbon-making from grain to barrel. “We developed the building around that, from the ground up, so people can see the whole process,” he says. “We said: ‘Form follows process.’” READ MORE

DESIGN MILK: “Venice House is a California House with a Sloping Trapezoidal Roof”

Venice-House-Pod-Arch-1

By Caroline Williamson

Among the tightly packed lots in Venice, California, the Venice House is a three-story, energy-efficient residence topped off with a unique, sloping trapezoidal roof. The beach house was designed by pod architecture + design (pod a+d), who also happen to be the owners, and it spans 1390-square-feet, which proved challenging as they had to build three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths on a compact, 700-square-foot lot. They managed to accomplish that and then some within the white metal and wood clad abode. READ MORE…

Carrboro Architects To Complete $15 Million Project in Louisville before Derby Day

pod architecture+ design finishes eagerly anticipated Rabbit Hole Distillery.

RabbitHole1

From their modest studio inside the old train depot on Main Street in Carrboro, award-winning architect Doug Pierson, AIA, partner/wife, designer Youn Choi, and their team at pod architecture + design are focused on making sure their $15 million project in Louisville, Kentucky – the 55,000-square-foot Rabbit Hole Distilling facility and campus — is finished by Kentucky Derby Day, May 5th.

Rabbit Hole is a Kentucky-based bourbon and whiskey distiller founded by Kaveh Zamanian in 2012. The new distillery is nearing completion now in the East Market District of downtown Louisville, better known these days as the very hip NuLu (New Louisville) neighborhood. It will have the capacity to produce around 20,000 barrels of whiskey annually.

 RabbitHole3

 In addition to the distillery, the Rabbit Hole campus includes retail and tour spaces, a 65-foot-high glass-enclosed atrium and event space with spectacular views of the city: an old, adaptively re-used church building, two bars; and a high-end $1.5 million restaurant and bar. Pierson designed the entire campus, including the restaurant.

“We didn’t come to the table with any set notions about form, floorplan, stylistic quality, or building materials,” said Pierson, who flies to Louisville once a week now. “We embraced the design strategy ‘form follows process,’ allowing the building to take shape in response to the bourbon production process it will house. So the building shares its design and purpose equally with the copper and steel equipment. That utilitarian yet distinctly beautiful equipment, the flow of the bourbon along the path from grain to bottle – the process itself became our inspiration.”

The facility has been under construction since late 2016. The distillery is expected to have a grand opening on Derby Eve.

A relative newcomer to the Triangle region, Doug Pierson and his wife and partner, Youn Choi, moved their firm and family from Los Angeles to North Carolina In the midst of the Rabbit Hole project.

Along with Pierson and Choi, the design team at pod a+d includes project architect Justin Williams and project associates Barbora Ngaboyamahina and Dougald Fountain.

For more information on pod a+d: www.podand.com.

For more information on the Rabbit Hole project: www.podand.com/work/#/new-gallery-3/.

 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.

Click here to visit the pod a+d website.

Click here to for more information on the design.

Click here to visit Rabbit Hole Distilling’s website.

A sampling of articles about Rabbit Hole Distilling/Distillery:

Carrboro Architect Helps Select Durham’s Golden Leaf Awards for Community Appearance

pod_Doug at desjPod architecture + design’s Doug Pierson joins 2018 jury.

Architect Doug Pierson, AIA, of pod architecture + design, the firm Pierson and his wife/business partner, designer Youn Choi, relocated from Los Angles to Carrboro, was honored to serve as a juror for Durham’s 2018 Golden Leaf Awards for Community Appearance.

“One of the many things Youn and I have come to love about the Triangle region is the City of Durham, the heart of Durham County,” Pierson said. “Once a tobacco and textiles town and now a world-class hub for medicine and research. The city is such an urban revitalization success story that still values its architectural history while embracing design innovation. It’s an authentic Southern town. And it’s terrific that the city and county celebrate contributions to their combined appearance.”

Sponsored by the Durham City-County Appearance Committee, the annual Golden Leaf Awards recognize new developments, buildings, and landscaping throughout Durham County that provide positive attributes to the city’s built environment. Awards are presented in seven categories, including a People’s Choice Award determined by public voting.

Judging of the Golden Leaf Awards, except the People’s Choice Award, is done by an independent panel of local professionals representing architecture, landscape architecture, development, and the arts community.

Pierson also has been tapped to present the 2918 Golden Leaf Awards to the winners on April 19th.

About Doug Pierson

Douglas V. Pierson, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., then the Lettres program at the Université Paul Valéry in Montpelier, France, before earning his Masters in Architecture degree at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. Early in his career, he worked with several architecture firms in Europe and Australia and served as designer and curator for numerous art exhibits, including The Work of Charles and Ray Eames. He worked with Hodgetts & Fung Design Associates in Culver City, CA, then joined architect Frank Gehry’s Los Angeles office, Gehry Partners LLP.  Before launching pod a+d, Pierson was a partner in the Inglewood, CA., firm form, environment, research (fer) studio L.L.P. in Inglewood, CA., for 10 years. He and Choi have two young children and will begin construction soon on their new modern home in Carrboro. Pod a+d’s offices are located in the old train depot, The Station, on Main Street in Carrboro. For more information: www.podand.com.

LOUISVILLE COURIER JOURNAL: “A grand opening for this new distillery in NuLu is set for Kentucky Derby night”

RabbitHole Pic.png

By Kirby Adams

We don’t know who but we do know where — 2018 Kentucky Derby celebrities may choose to party after the races at a new distillery in downtown Louisville. he Rabbit Hole Distillery, 711 E. Jefferson St., will celebrate its grand opening  Saturday, May 5 with an invitation-only event…

…The new multimillion-dollar distillery in Louisville’s historic NuLu neighborhood is designed by award-winning architect Doug Pierson and will also showcase the identity, tradition, and legacy of bourbon making in Kentucky. VIEW THE VIDEO AND READ MORE

Day and Night: Pod Architecture + Design To Display Work in NCSU Exhibition

Demonstrating the perception of space from day to night.

Carrboro modern architects
Exhibition board showing Connie & Ted’s restaurant by day (top) and night (bottom).

February 12, 2018 (Carrboro, NC) — How structure is perceived from day to night is the theme of the presentation that pod architecture + design (pod a+d) in Carrboro is contributing to the upcoming N.C. State University School of Architecture Alumni Exhibition. The exhibition will be on display in the Brooks Hall Gallery on the NCSU campus during the School’s accreditation review in mid-February.

Juxtaposing a photograph of each project taken in bright daylight with a photo captured against a darkened sky, pod a+d’s presentation includes an adaptive re-use project in Louisville, KY, an educational facility in Goshen, IN, an iconic restaurant in West Hollywood, CA, and a large-scale experiential graphics project in Qatar.

Pod a+d is a hybrid firm owned and operated by design principals Douglas V. Pierson, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, and Youn Choi, an environmental graphics designer. The couple relocated their firm from Los Angeles to North Carolina in 2016.

Carrboro Modern Architects
Qatar experiential graphics project by day (top) and night( (bottom).

“Doug and I always consider the day and nightlife of a design because the perception of the space changes as the light changes – from day to night and from natural to electric lighting,” Choi explained. “We also consider when the use of the space will be the liveliest. Perhaps the users are more productive during the day when the sun is shining. Some rejuvenate in the evening as the sun goes down. This is an integrated, repeating process that we always consider.”

According to David Hill, head of the School of Architecture, NCSU College of Design, “This will be an important show of work that will be seen by visitors from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), faculty, students, and other visitors. Perhaps this exhibition will allow the school to reconnect with a great number of alumni throughout the world.”

For more information on the upcoming exhibition, email david_hill@ncsu.edu.

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

About pod architecture + design:

pod a+d offers all architectural design services that connect building, environment, and identity because we believe in the integration of architecture and design disciplines throughout our projects.  Exteriors, interiors, engineering, furnishings and finishes, equipment, financial feasibility, scheduling, construction, and the environmental context – these are the contributing elements that inform our integrated approach to each architectural project’s design.  More information: www.podand.com.