Carrboro Hillside House Wins a Jury Award in 2022 Matsumoto Prize Competition

Hillside House, designed by pod architecture + design, in neighborhood context.

(CARRBORO, NC) – “Hillside House,” the modern, metal-clad home designed by architect Doug Pierson, AIA, and designer Youn Choi of pod architecture + design for their own family of four, received a prestigious Jury Award during the 2022 George Matsumoto Prize competition recognizing excellence in modernist residential design.

 Leland Little Auctions in Hillsborough hosted this year’s awards ceremony on Thursday, July 28.

NC Modernist, a nationally acclaimed non-profit organization and website based and maintained in Durham, created the Matsumoto Prize in 2012 to honor modernist architect George Matsumoto, FAIA, one of the founding faculty members of North Carolina State University’s College of Design. The Matsumoto Prize is North Carolina’s highest honor exclusively for modernist residential architecture throughout the state.

Located on a wooded lot in an established neighborhood near downtown Carrboro, Hillside House is a long, slender, three-level home that directly responds to the natural terrain in form and plan. Its black metal exterior and a cantilevered corner as it zigzags up a steep hill decrease its impact on the landscape and natural hydrology.

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Doug Pierson, Youn Choi

According to NC Modernist’s founder and director George Smart, the jurors appreciated the symbiosis between the architecture and the land. Yet they were most impressed by Pierson’s and Choi’s design decisions that, as parents, they knew would enhance daily life for their young-adult child with autism. As they explained in their awards submission:

 “An ideal floor plan developed within the long, narrow form…[that] offers visible connectivity across the length and height of the house to facilitate communication. It also provides retreat spaces for privacy.”

 Info, Video, Images & Plans

·       Click here to view the video pod a+d created for the competition, narrated by Doug Pierson.

·       Click here for more information on pod architecture + design, and here for information, photos, drawings, and plans for Hillside House.

·       Click here to view all the modernist houses submitted for the Matsumoto Prize this year.

Vote for the CARRBORO HILLSIDE HOUSE in this year’s Matsumoto Prize awards!

Go to ncmhcompetitions.org, scroll down a bit, and VOTE for this unique, modern, sustainable, custom-designed home in Carrboro, NC, where the land dictated the form and the family’s specific needs informed the plan. Thanks so much!

ON THE BOARDS: Blueplate PR Client Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, Designs Modern, Net-Zero-Ready Cliff-Hanger in Western NC

RENDERING OF FUTURE MILLER-McWEENEY HOUSE, NORTHSIDE

Calling the site for this project “one of the tightest little corners I’ve ever had to make something fit,” Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, has designed a modern, sustainable home on a mountainside in Swannanoa, NC, a tiny township between Asheville and Black Mountain, NC.

Designed for P.J. Miller, a musician, and artist Katie McWeeney, the two-story, modern, thoroughly “green” house will hug the flat part of the couple’s cliff-side property and include three bedrooms, two baths, an open kitchen/dining/living core, two studios/workspaces, two carports, and abundant decking for outdoor living and connectivity between the indoors and outdoors.

Chief among Schechter’s inspirations for this design was the couple’s lament over never having enough kitchen, workspace, or studio space in previous homes. “We’re trying to remedy that in this house,” she said, accepting the challenge despite the restrictive size of the property’s buildable area.

RENDERING OF MILLER-McWEENEY HOUSE, SOUTHWEST ELEVATION

Actually, the site’s verticality helped her solve the studio/workspace problem. She’s tucked two studios beneath the living spaces, along with carports/loading zones on each end. The loading zones will create sightlines and open-air spaces within the entire volume, she pointed out, “and create the sort of positive-negative composition I like.”

Along with art and music, Miller and McSweeney enjoy cooking, baking, and hosting cooking classes. To enhance their passion, the Schechter-designed kitchen will provide a profusion of natural lighting along with an open, professionally planned interior.

Will the Miller-McWeeney home contribute to Schechter’s ever-expanding portfolio of net-zero residential designs?

“Yes, of course,” she said emphatically. “Our goal for all our houses is to be net-zero, net-positive or at the very least, net-zero-ready.” The latter means that the completed house will be wired and plumbed for solar panels to be installed in the future. “That, plus rooftop water collection for gardening should make this a very sustainable house for this great couple to enjoy.”

For more information on the architect and her work, visit acsarchitect.com.

Blueplate PR Client’s Project Featured in Metal Architecture magazine.

pod architecture + design’s “Hillside House” gets national press.

Abundant glazing provides views of the wooded site from every room. (Photo by Allen Weiss)

by Christopher Brinkerhoff, Associate Editor

Zig zagging down a hillside in Carrboro, N.C., a black-clad house blends into a wooded site. The home is the vision of partners and design duo Douglas Pierson and Youn Choi, pod architecture + design PLLC, Chapel Hill, N.C.

The house comprises three forms that are connected. At their simplest, they are rectangles that connect to form a Z pattern, descending the slope of the hill toward a creek.

Corrugated metal panels give texture to the lengthy façades that are punctured by horizontal windows, which emphasize their length. To keep the lines clean, the architects specified limited trim.

Two Appearances

The home blends in with other houses in the neighborhood in terms of size and scale, but because of the slope, the two lower forms disappear from the street view. The buildable area on the hillside site was limited to a triangular, northeast corner of the site. Instead of facing the streetside to the east, the house faces the creek bed to the southwest. READ MORE

HOME BUILDER DIGEST: “The 18 Best Residential Architects in North Carolina”

North Carolina is one of the most popular states to live in the country. The “Triangle” region of the state, which includes Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, provides visitors and residents with a myriad of reasons to enjoy the state…

For those considering relocating to the region and those seeking to upgrade their North Carolina homes, the best residential architects are necessary. 

The [HBD list] showcases the best residential architects in North Carolina. These firms were selected based on their experiences in residential designs, awards won, years in the industry, and media coverage, and they are the best in the industry. (Click here to see the entire list.)

…Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, Architect

A fine example of the firm’s accomplished projects is Wolf-Huang Residence on Lake Orange, NC. Photo by Tzu Chen

What separates multi-award-winning firm Arielle Condoret Schechter, Architect, from the other architects is a clear understanding of how each project is about more than designing an exceptional space. Each project has the capacity to enhance people’s lives and lifestyles, and this small firm is dedicated to doing exactly that. READ MORE

CHAPEL HILL MAGAZINE: “Lake Living — Two world travelers set down sustainable roots on Lake Orange”

Another exemplary modern, minimalist, sustainable, custom-designed home by Blueplate PR client Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is featured in the Jan/Feb. 2022 edition of Chapel Hill Magazine (page 57).

Writer: Morgan Cartier Weston. Photographer: John Michael Simpson

Homeowners Tom Wolf and Yiqing Huang and the lakeside elevation of their new home on Lake Orange.
“We needed someone to maximize every square inch of buildable space,” Tom said. So they turned to Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, “to execute their vision…”

CLICK HERE to read the entire article

CLICK HERE for more information on the architect

Eater Carolinas magazine names new-concept wine shop designed by pod architecture + design as one of “14 Most Anticipated…”

Exterior rendering of Rocks & Acid wine shop & tasting bar, coming to 712 Market Street in Chapel Hill, designed by pod architecture + design. Counter service via a large window by the patio (pictured here) will lend a casual, informal air to the new-concept shop.

Rocks & Acid, a new retail wine shop and tasting room coming this year to Chapel Hill’s Southern Village neighborhood, is one of “The 14 Most Anticipated Restaurants Across the Carolinas for 2022,” according to Eater Carolinas digital magazine.

While the name doesn’t say it, food will play a key role in owner Paula de Pano’s desire to have her customers relax and linger at Rocks & Acid. To that end, pod architecture + design included a large pass-through window at the shop’s exterior patio in their design. A “curated selection of artisan cheeses, charcuterie, conservas, caviar and cakes” will be available at the window and interior wine bar, according to JNK Public Relations.

CLICK HERE to go to Eater Carolinas to see the complete list.

CLICK HERE for more information on pod a+d‘s design for Rocks & Acid.

 

Chapel Hill Magazine features another modern, sustainable, custom home by Blueplate PR client Arielle Condoret Schechter.

By Morgan Cartier Wester | Photography by John Michael Simpson

To view the entire article in the January/February 2022 edition of Chapel Hill Magazine, click below and go to page 57.

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.

Charleston’s Blue Bicycle Books Hosts Architect/Author Frank Harmon and ‘Native Places” on January 17th

Architect and author Frank Harmon, FAIA, who designed the modern, award-winning Sunday School addition to the historic Circular Congregational Church in Charleston and the “Seven Sisters” residence on St. Helena Island, will present his new, critically acclaimed book  Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See when Blue Bicycle Books hosts a book-signing event on Thursday, January 17, beginning at 5 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the event will begin with an introduction of the Raleigh, NC-based author by South Carolina architect Whitney Powers. Harmon will then give a presentation about his book and his passion for hand sketching. After a Q&A with the audience, he will sign copies of Native Places, which will be available for purchase in the bookstore.

Frank Harmon bookDelight in Ordinary Places:  Published by ORO Editions, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See is a collection of 64 of Harmon’s watercolor sketches paired with brief essays he’s written about architecture, everyday objects and sites, and nature that first appeared on his internationally popular blog NativePlaces.org. The sketches convey the delight he finds in ordinary places. The short essays, inspired by the sketches, offer his fresh interpretations of what most people take for granted.

Harmon’s goal for Native Places is, in fact, “to transform the way we see,” he says, and to promote his belief that hand drawing offers “an opportunity to develop a natural grace in the way we view the world and take part in it.” He will explain both concepts in his presentation.

What others are saying about Native Places: In his review of the book, Charles Linn, FAIA, architect, writer, former deputy editor of Architectural Record, wrote, “For those who love drawing, seek enlightenment and inspiration from the things they may pass by every day, and perhaps want to capture them in their own sketchbooks, I give Native Places my highest recommendation.” (Linn also helped Harmon select and organize the sketch-essay pairs for the book.)

Mike Welton, the architecture critic for the Raleigh News & Observer, calls Harmon’s book “delightful” and suggests that it is “destined to change how we see this world.”

Tom Kundig, FAIA, of Olsen Kundig Architects in Seattle, WA, praises Harmon and his book for “reminding us in brilliant, thoughtful, quiet meditation our unbelievable luck to be alive and to think. A masterful legacy on all levels.”

Owned and operated by Jonathan Sanchez, Blue Bicycle Books is located at 420 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403 (843.722.2666); bluebicyclebooks.com.

For more details on Frank Harmon and Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, visit the book’s website (nativeplacesthebook.com) and Facebook page.