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 and follow the firm on Facebook.

Steel-Clad House in Duke Forest Receives 2018 AIA Triangle Honor Award

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Photography © Tzu Chen Photography

“Piedmont Retreat,” a modern, single-family home clad in Cor-Ton® steel, earned for Tonic Design of Raleigh, NC, one of only three Honor awards — and the only residential design among the three — in the 2018 AIA Triangle Design Awards. The awards were presented March 22 during a gala event at the Contemporary Art Museum in downtown Raleigh.

Partners in life and practice, Katherine Hogan, AIA, and Vincent Petrarca have now received 10 AIA Triangle Design Awards for the practice. This is their third honor award.

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According to the partners, the clients wanted their new house to have a modest public presence and a direct connection to their property’s wooded landscape within its cul-de-sac neighborhood on the edge of Durham within Duke Forest. They also wanted a private, comfortable, low-maintenance house that would blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Minimal in form and materials, Piedmont Retreat’s steel exterior forms a protective barrier to the street and presents a humble profile to the neighborhood. This rugged, weathering skin will eventually find its final patina and blend into the landscape.

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In contrast, the living spaces open to an array of shifting perspectival views within and throughout the house.

Alex Anmahian, AIA, founding partner of the internationally acclaimed firm AW in Cambridge, MA, served as chair of the all-Boston jury. Anmahian, who teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University GSD, announced the winners, noting that the jury admired Tonic Design’s “consistency of message” throughout the submission and the “restrained palette of materials and textures,” among other attributes.

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“We’re especially honored to have our work recognized by this year’s jury,” Hogan said, “all of whom are highly respected, practicing professors of architecture.”

Seven design awards were presented this year: three Honor and four Merit.

Kenneth Hobgood Architects Sweeps Residential Category of AIA Triangle Awards

Raleigh firm receives the only awards for houses submitted in the 2011 design awards program.

June 8, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – Kenneth E. Hobgood Architects of Raleigh received both

Section, the Aldridge House

of only two Merit Awards for residential architecture presented recently by the American Institute of Architects’ Triangle Section in its 2011 Design Awards.

The firm’s award-winning Aldridge House renovation and addition for owners Betty and John Aldridge in Raleigh was designed to make a small, one-level, 1950s brick house comfortable for three people. The complete renovation of the existing house includes a new kitchen, updated bathrooms, enlarged bedrooms, and more functional living spaces.

To enlarge the first-floor spaces on a small site with tight setbacks, Hobgood’s firm created a second level for a new bedroom, bath, work area, and storage. On the rear elevation of the house, the bedroom and stair form a two-level metal, glass, and wood dormer that extends out and down to the floor below. The large glass window opens to the back with a view of the back yard, lap pool, and a significant tree buffer to the south.

The addition’s form minimizes its mass and provides generous spaces for the bedrooms. To minimize the impact on the street front, the addition repeats the slope of the existing room and becomes almost invisible from the street. At about 500 square feet, the addition represents 35 percent of the house’s new footprint.

The Aldridge House also received a 2007 Merit Award from AIA North Carolina. Bayleaf Builders of Raleigh served as contractor for the Aldridge renovation and addition.

Hobgood’s firm also received a design award for the as-yet-unbuilt  “Jones 2” 

Model, the Jones House

residential design, one of two designs the firm created for Nicole and Lee Jones of Raleigh.

According to Kenneth Hobgood, FAIA, the Joneses wanted their home to be part of a well-established neighborhood yet offer the potential for a secluded retreat.

“The intent was to design a house where each room was exposed on all sides to the exterior,” he said.

The award-winning design is a five-level tower that minimizes disruption to the site. Levels three and four are voided and a large volume, clad in glass and glass-reinforced fiber panels, is inserted into this void. Entered via a bridge at the third level, this volume contains the entrance, living room, dining room and an office. The void space left at the third level is articulated as a covered terrace with views in four directions. The design’s first and second levels include guest bedrooms with level five dedicated to a master bedroom suite. A continuous stair connects all five levels.

For more information on these projects and the firm’s many other award-winning residential designs, visit and click on “Recent” projects.

AIA Triangle consists of a 10-county area in central North Carolina, and includes more than 780 members. For more information, visit


About Kenneth E. Hobgood, Architects:

Kenneth Hobgood, FAIA, founded Kenneth E Hobgood, Architects in Raleigh, NC, in 1992. Since then, the firm has received 39 design awards from the American Institute of Architects North Carolina chapter and its work has been published and exhibited in the United States, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, England and Germany. In 1997, Kenneth Hobgood as awarded the Kamphoefner Prize from North Carolina State University’s College of Design for “consistent integrity and devotion to the development of modern architecture” in North Carolina. He has served as a visiting critic at Auburn University, Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech, and the University of Kentucky, and as an adjunct professor at North Carolina State University since 1988. For more information visit

Frank Harmon Architect PA Takes Home Two Different Awards in One Night

The firm scores high with the City of Raleigh, AIA Triangle. 

Walnut Creek Wetland Center

April 26, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – The evening of April 21, 2011, was a busy one for Raleigh architect Frank Harmon, FAIA. After collecting a City of Raleigh Environmental Design Award at the Marbles Museum in downtown Raleigh, he dashed over to the NC Museum of Art in west Raleigh just in time to collect another award from the Triangle section of the American Institute of Architects’ North Carolina chapter.

On the same night, the state’s Capital City praised Harmon’s Walnut Creek Wetland

JC Raulston Arboretum Lath House at N.C. State University

Center for demonstrating green design concepts and a positive ecological footprint, and AIA Triangle bestowed a Merit Award for overall design excellent on the firm’s Lath House for N.C. State University’s JC Raulston Arboretum.

“The Walnut Creek Wetland Center was the result of nearly a decade of advocacy by the board of Partners for Environmental Justice,” Harmon said. “It was a privilege to help them build an environmental center that will serve generations of children. As Walnut Creek nurtures children, the Lath House shelters plants, and both aspire to make North Carolina a better place.”

The City of Raleigh created its annual Environmental Awards Program to recognize individuals and organizations that demonstrate “outstanding work in sustainable development and environmental stewardship.”

The Walnut Creek Wetland Center, phase one of a project that is transforming abused wetlands near downtown Raleigh into a natural resource and learning center, won the Green Design (Built Environment) category. The 7000-square-foot building is poised six feet above the wetlands flood plain. All-wood construction utilizes recycled materials wherever possible, and windows welcome the surroundings into the building as they facilitate natural ventilation and illumination. Circulation occurs outside the building across a large porch that projects out into the environment. A geothermal system provides HVAC needs, photovoltaic panels generate electricity, and the metal roof’s deep overhang protects the interior from the summer sun. Rainwater runoff is collected in cisterns and storm water runoff is filtered before it returns to Walnut Creek.

Designed by Harmon’s firm as a pro bono gift to the JC Raulston Arboretum, the Lath House is an open-air laboratory for experimental horticultural techniques and methods. Designed as an abstract of a tree spreading its branches to protect the plants, according to Harmon, the structure is comprised of wooden two-by-twos that fulfill the specific light-to-shade ratio young plants need in the spring and shelter the plants as they prepare to be transitioned into larger gardens in the arboretum. The Lath House also provides an accessible community garden for the City of Raleigh, and an educational asset to the State of North Carolina within this nationally acclaimed arboretum.

Both the Walnut Creek Wetland Center and the JC Raulston Arboreum Lath House have already received international attention, appearing on, one of the largest architectural websites/ezines in the world.

For more information on both projects and on Frank Harmon Architect PA, visit

About Frank Harmon Architect PA:

Frank Harmon Architect PA is an award-winning architectural firm located in Raleigh, NC, and recognized nationally as a leader in modern, innovative, sustainable and regionally appropriate design. In 2010, the firm was ranked 13th out of the top 50 firms in the nation by Architect magazine and Frank Harmon, FAIA, founder and principal, was included in Residential Architect’s recent “RA 50: The short list of architects we love.” The firm’s work has been featured in numerous books, magazines, journals and online magazines on architecture, including, Dwell, Architectural Record, Architect, and Residential Architect. For more information, go to