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…
Katherine Hogan, AIA, and Vincent Petrarca, partners in life and in the award-winning Raleigh firm Tonic Design, were honored to receive the 2017 Kamphoefner Prize at the AIA North Carolina Design Conference held in Wilmington September 13-15.
Named for the founding dean of NC State University’s School (now College) of Design, Henry Kamphoefner (1907-1990), the $10,000 Prize is one of the highest honors for practicing architects in the state.
This marks the first time the Prize has been awarded to a husband-wife partnership.
“Everything we design, we design together,” Petrarca stressed. “So the only possible way we could receive this incredible honor or any other award is together.”
“It is an honor to be recognized among those who are dedicated to forwarding the modern tradition in our place,” Hogan added. “We have many mentors on this list of past recipients, who we have followed and been inspired by over the years. We are honored to be recognized as part of this group.”
Among past Kamphoefner Prize recipients are AIA Fellows Arthur Cogswell, Frank Harmon, Jeffrey Lee, Kenneth Hobgood, Ellen Weinstein, Phil Szostak, and Roger Cannon.
The Path Leading to The Prize
Over the past decade, Hogan and Petrarca have amassed an array of awards and honors:
They’ve already received 41 design awards, including 27 awards sanctioned by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Their work has been published over 40 times in magazines, professional journals, architectural websites, and blogs.
They’ve lectured at architecture schools and design conferences since 2007, including the AIA National Convention.
They’re served their profession in various capacities through AIANC, AIA Triangle, and both NC State and Syracuse universities. They’ve also served on numerous professional awards juries.
Since 2011, they have been adjunct professors at North Carolina State University’s College of Design and Visiting Critics at Syracuse University. They’ve also served as guest jurors for architectural studios at five different universities, including the University of Illinois in Chicago.
In 2013, they were named Residential Architect magazine’s “Rising Stars” out of all young firms in the nation.
In 2014, Hogan received Triangle Business Journal’sWomen In Business “Future Star” award.
Kamphoefner Prize winners must be currently practicing in North Carolina and must have consistently contributed to the development of modern architecture for at least 10 years “without yielding to any of the undesirable current clichés, neo-modernistic mannerisms or artless historicism that have flawed the building culture of today,” as Dean Kamphoefner wrote when he and his wife, Mable, established the Prize in the 1980s.
Attesting to the Tonic duo’s consistent contributions, Will Bruder, FAIA, of Will Bruder Architects, Phoenix, AZ, wrote in his Letter of Support, “Their design solutions have become both distinctively original and memorably relevant. Their work exemplifies not only the best traditions of modernism but also an abiding respect for the clients and communities they serve,” he wrote.
“Katherine and Vinny both honor the architectural tradition that Dean Kamphoefner envisioned,” Michael Speaks, Ph.D., Dean and Professor, Syracuse University School of Architecture, noted in his letter.
And J. Patrick Rand, FAIA, a Distinguished Professor of Architecture at the NCSU College of Design, asserted his belief that their work “transcends necessity and moves toward poetry, but does so with a language that is the fusion of conceptual ideals and practical circumstances. [Their] buildings show that proportion, materiality, space and experience are the essential contents of architecture.”
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.