THE MODERN SHELTER: “MidZENtury paradise”

 

ACS reading nook_Keith Isaacs
Reading corner along the hallway. Photo by Keith Isaacs

By Sara Mingote

Hi there, welcome! Please, make yourself at home. This is the first post in the blog, and also a very special one.

This is the residence of Arielle Condoret Schechter, architect and designer, a space with great character but serene, filled with natural light and good decisions. With a mid-century modern inclination and a zen outdoor inspiration, she decided to make her home as comfortable as possible, e.g., adding wheels to chairs and tables, allowing the sunlight to find her path in between sofas and shelves and fill every possible inch.

Driven by sustainability, the architect installed solar panels on the roof -approaching almost net zero-, and also built a solar hot water heater and a large compost tiller. Condoret believes that making that kind of decisions, conserving energy, preserving natural resources and reducing costs, ‘That’s the kind of environment that just makes you feel good about life…”  READ MORE… 

 

 

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Works In Progress: Chapel Hill Architect Arielle Schechter, AIA, Announces Three New Residential Projects

PrivacyForTwo

RENDERING: PRIVACY FOR TWO

December 11, 2017 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, Architect, a full-service architecture firm based in Chapel Hill, NC, has announced three new residential projects, each with remarkably different aspirations.

Big House for a Big Family: Arielle Schechter, principal and founder, describes one of her newest clients as a “big, loving, blended family with kids and more kids on the way.” The family needs a generously sized modern house “for the rest of their lives,” she said, with plenty of space for the family as it is today and as it will be in the future as it expands with spouses and grandchildren.

One response will be a huge playroom to allow for ping pong, pool, and foosball “at any hour of the day or night.” The playroom will connect directly to the house and to the outdoors, allowing access to a future swimming pool. “This house is all about togetherness and family fun,” Schechter noted.

Privacy for Two: A husband and wife anxious to escape what they call a “soul-deadening” cookie-cutter residential development, have hired Schechter to plan and design a very private new home that will let them “just disappear into the woods,” she said. The “woods” she refers to are in Chatham County.

According to the architect, they are a modest couple and want a modern but simple, unpretentious, age-in-place design that let them live out their lives together in peace, away from the restrictions of a housing development.

One of Schechter’s inspirations was her clients’ request for “a sheltered place to sit outside and watch the rain.” In response, she has designed a deeply cantilevered roof where they can sit outside and enjoy the rain without getting wet.

A Doctor in the House: Schechter’s third new project is a modern residence for a doctor who teaches and practices at Duke University, his wife, and their son. The family moved to Durham from New York City. Their primary objective is a family home for three that maintains the parents’ connection to their young son.

One design decision directly related to that concept: a second-floor bridge that “floats” over an open, double-height living room. The bridge connects the master suite to their son’s suite, both of which are on the second floor. The lower level will feature the public spaces – living, dining, kitchen areas — and guest rooms that can double as an office or den.

For more information on Arielle Schechter and to see her built work as well as other “On The Boards” projects, visit www.acsarchitect.com.

About Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA:

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is a licensed, registered architect based in Chapel Hill, NC, who specializes in Modernist, energy-efficient buildings with a focus on passive houses, NET ZERO houses, and her new tiny house plans, the Micropolis Houses™. She is a lifelong environmentalist and began practicing green design long before it became mainstream. She is also a lifelong animal advocate who lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Arnie, and an assortment of foster animals in the Modern, sustainable house she designed for them. For more information: www.acsarchitect.com.

 

 

 

AECCafe.com/ArchShowcase: “The Professor’s House in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by Arielle Condoret Schechter”

by Sanjay Gangal

This small, modern house was designed for an eminent author and professor of Native American studies. A widow now, she wanted to downsize from her 3200-square-foot house and live in a new, age-in-place home in a quiet, wooded neighborhood in Chapel Hill, NC, with her dog, Calamity Jane.

  • Architects: Arielle Condoret Schechter
  • Project: The Professor’s House
  • Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina USA
  • Photography: Keith Isaacs, Raleigh, NC
  • Structural Engineer: Brian Moskow, Red Engineering and Design, Apex, NC
  • Contractor: Ted Sanford, Immaculate Construction, Graham, NC
  • Construction cost: $250/square foot  READ MORE….

Chapel Hill Architect Arielle Condoret Schechter Receives “Best of Houzz” Honors Second Year In A Row

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA
Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA

From among remodeling and design professionals throughout North America and around the world.

 Architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, of Chapel Hill, NC, has won a “Best Of Houzz 2017” award in the Customer Service category for the second year in a row.

Over 40 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community chose Schechter and the other winners from among more than one million active home building, remodeling, and design industry professionals.

Best Of Houzz honors are awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service, and Photography. The Customer Service honor is based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews that a professional receives. (Click here to see Schechter’s reviews.) A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge now appears on Schechter’s Houzz profile, along with the 2016 badge and a 2015 “Recommended on Houzz” honor.

According to Lisa Hausman, vice president of industry marketing, “These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area. Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

Founder and principal of Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, Architect, the architect is perhaps best known for her modern, Net Zero Passive residential designs and her new Micropolis Houses® collection of modern, sustainable “tiny home” plans.

To see Schechter’s Houzz page, click here. For more information on her firm, visit www.acsarchitect.com.

About Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA:

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is a licensed, registered architect based in Chapel Hill, NC, who specializes in modernist, energy-efficient buildings with a focus on passive houses, NET ZERO houses, and her new Micropolis Houses® collection of tiny house designs. She is a lifelong environmentalist and animal advocate who was riding on the green design train long before it became mainstream. She lives in a modern, sustainable house she designed in Chapel Hill with her husband, Arnie, and an assortment of foster animals. For more information: www.acsarchitect.com

About Houzz:

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, online or from a mobile device connecting millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.

 

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Chapel Hill Magazine’s Readers Name Keith Shaw One of the Best Architects in Chapel Hill

Keith Shaw, AIA, founder and principal, Shaw Design Associates
Keith Shaw, AIA, founder and principal, Shaw Design Associates

For the third year, architect Keith Shaw, AIA, founder and principal of Shaw Design Associates, is one of the “Best Architects in Chapel Hill” according to the readers of Chapel Hill Magazine.

The results of the publication’s 2016 Best of Chapel Hill readers’ poll appear in the July-August edition.

Keith Shaw is best known in Chapel Hill for completing over 70 custom-designed estate homes, 100 for-sale homes, and 80 extensive renovation projects in the gated Governors Club and other high-end communities. Time-honored styles, including French Country and English Manor, as well as the American Prairie Style, inspire many of his residential designs. Occasionally, a Modern project comes in his office, such as the 3300-square-foot home he designed in for a fellow architect from the global architecture, engineering, and planning firm HOK .

“Keith’s designs seem to beckon the viewer to look further, to keep exploring,” wrote clients Judy and Dick Blake for Shaw Design Associates’ website. “[He] has taken the hopes and ideas of his clients and morphed them into the home of their dreams. There are many fine architects out there who could design a suitable home, but Keith will create a masterpiece that truly reflects who you are!”

One of the builders with whom Shaw works offered, “Shaw Design Associates seems to come out on top in our minds. Previous homeowners that we’ve worked with, and who have worked with Keith, rave about how happy they are with the design, and at how much he seemed to listen to their requests throughout the process.”

Keith Shaw is also becoming known for liturgical architecture. Among other structures, he designed the timber-frame Chapel In The Pines on Great Ridge Parkway and the New Life Fellowship church on Weaver Dairy Road.

Chapel Hill Magazine is published by Shannon Media six times a year. With 52,000 readers, it covers Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, and northern Chatham County. For more information, visit www.chapelhillmagazine.com.

For more information on Keith Shaw and Shaw Design Associates, visit http://shawdesign.us.

About Shaw Design Associates:

Founded by Keith Shaw, AIA, in 1995, Shaw Design Associates, P.A. is a recognized leader in providing innovative architectural solutions for all project types – solutions based on time-tested, enduring standards and plan elements that are vital to design integrity. The firm adheres to these design truths by focusing on the land, the light, and the patterns of interaction between the owner, the structure, and the environment. Shaw Design Associates is located at 180 Providence Road, #8, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. For more information, visit shawdesign.us or call 919.493.0528.

Micropolis® Morphed: Out of “Little Paws,” A Custom-Designed Small Home Emerges

Construction should begin soon on Schechter's not-quite-so-tiny house in Chapel Hill.
Construction should begin soon on Schechter’s not-quite-so-tiny house in Chapel Hill.

The professor/author wanted to build “Little Paws,” one of Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter’s collection of tiny, modern, sustainable house plans she sells under the registered trademark Micropolis Houses®.  But at 1059 square feet, “Little Paws” only had room for two bedrooms.

“And she needed three bedrooms,” Schechter said. “So ‘Little Paws’ quickly morphed into a custom small house – a sort of custom Micropolis®, if you will. But it’s still way under the size of the average American house, which is 2500 square feet. This house is still only 1679 square feet.”

Construction should begin soon in Chapel Hill on Schechter’s not-quite-so-tiny house, which remains true to the original modern design with its rhythmic volumes, crisp geometry, flat rooflines and extra bedroom. Packing a lot of punch into its modest envelope, this small custom-designed home includes an open great room and dining area, a “super-functional” working kitchen, Schechter said, a study, a guest suite and additional bedroom, plus a master suite complete with Japanese Ofuro soaking tub.

As with all of her residential projects, Arielle Schechter prioritizes natural light inside and spectacular spaces outside to encourage the connection between indoors and outdoors. In this case, those spaces are a screen porch, terrace, and pool, all of which overlook a natural creek. An abundance of windows, including corner glass, offers constant views of the outdoors. Deep roof overhangs protect the glass from the high summer sun – one of the many green building principles Schechter utilized for this project.

An advocate of age-in-place architecture, Schechter also made sure “Little Paws” was adaptable to universal design even though the original plan was intended as a raised pier house. The professor welcomed the adaptation, Schechter said, so that this will be her last home.

MICROPOLIS HOUSE LOGOYears in the making: Tiny homes are growing increasingly popular today, but Arielle Schechter didn’t design Micropolis Houses® to jump on the bandwagon. Growing up in North Carolina, she realized that the mobile homes scattered or clumped together across North Carolina filled the need for small housing options but had no design integrity, they were usually made of poor materials, and she couldn’t see how they contributed to their owners’ quality of life. So a few years ago she began working on an alternative and Micropolis Houses® were born – quality, architect-designed house plans that range from 150 to 1500 square feet and can be customized to meet specific buyers’ needs and preferences.

For more information on Arielle Condoret Schechter, the Micropolis Houses® and all of her work, visit www.acsarchitect.com.

About Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA:

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is a licensed, registered architect based in Chapel Hill, NC, who specializes in Modernist, energy-efficient buildings of all types and sizes, especially houses. Earlier this year, her firm received a Best of Houzz award for Customer Service. Schechter admits that she is “obsessed with light,” which drives her designs more than any other single element. Her firm also offers interior and lighting design, and custom furniture and fixtures. She attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Juilliard School of Music, and NC State University’s College of Design. She lives with her husband, Arnie Schechter, and an assortment of foster animals in a Modern, energy-efficient house she designed. For more information: www.acsarchitect.com.

Chapel Hill Architect Arielle Condoret Schechter Wins “Best of Houzz 2016” Award

Best of Houzz BadgeFrom among remodeling and design professionals in North America and around the world

Architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, of Chapel Hill, NC, has won a “Best Of Houzz 2016” award in the Customer Service category.

Houzz is a leading platform for home remodeling and design. Over 35 million unique monthly users that comprise the Houzz community chose Schechter’s firm from among more than one million active home building, remodeling, and design industry professionals represented on the platform.

The Best Of Houzz awards are presented annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service, and Photography. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional receives during the year. As a result, a “Best Of Houzz 2016” badge appears on winners’ Houzz profiles to help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area.

“I’m surprised and thrilled to receive this honor,” Schechter said. “And I want to

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA
Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA

thank all of my wonderful clients who wrote those kind reviews.”

“Anyone building, remodeling, or decorating looks to Houzz for the most talented and service-oriented professionals” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “We’re so pleased to recognize Arielle’s work this way.”

In 2015, Schechter received a “Recommended on Houzz” honor.

To see Schechter’s Houzz page, click here. For more information on the firm, visit www.acsarchitect.com.

About Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA:

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is a licensed, registered architect based in Chapel Hill, NC, who specializes in Modernist, energy-efficient buildings with a focus on passive houses, NET ZERO houses, and her new tiny house designs, Micropolis Houses™. She is a lifelong environmentalist and animal advocate who was riding on the green design train long before it became mainstream. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Arnie, and an assortment of foster animals in a Modern house she designed. For more information: www.acsarchitect.com

About Houzz:

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.

 

Chapel In The Pines: Shaw Design Gets Phase Two Underway

Keith Shaw, AIA
Keith Shaw, AIA

Chapel Hill-based architectural firm Shaw Design Associates is now preparing schematics for Phase Two of the building project at Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church, which will add a new 3191-square-foot Fellowship Hall and set the stage for a new entry courtyard to the church campus on Great Ridge Parkway just south of Chapel Hill.

“I’m very pleased that the building committee is proceeding with Phase Two so the initial design concept can be fulfilled,” said Keith Shaw, AIA. “It has always been the intention for the buildings on this campus to be a sermon on their own by providing an inviting, embracing, and reverent place to worship and fellowship.”

When Shaw began working with the building committee in 2010, the group established a philosophical statement that provided the framework for his design decisions: “Chapel in the Pines reflects God’s majesty by being in harmony with its surroundings, welcoming to its community, and aesthetically original.”

Main, sanctuary building completed in 2011.
Main, sanctuary building completed in 2011.

To incorporate that statement into the architecture for the 5201-square-foot sanctuary and 3191-square-foot Education Wing to its right that he completed in 2011, Shaw specified pine timber framing — cut from trees that are grown in managed timber land in North Carolina and prepared in Virginia – in deference to the pine forest surrounding the chapel. He also plans to use pine timber for the Fellowship Hall.

“The simple forms and textures of the pine timbers reflect the natural surroundings and create a warm and inviting place to worship,” he said.

As with the first two structures, views to the forest are a key element of the design. Tall windows will allow natural light to fill the interior, reducing the use of electric light. As it is in the sanctuary, indirect lighting will be used to reduce glare and illuminate natural timber beams above.

To make the church as welcoming to its community as the committee’s statement suggests, Shaw designed each structure to human scale, rather than the grand, formal scale of many liturgical structures. However, the open timber roof construction accentuates the vertical lines characteristic of houses of worship, helping to lead the eye and spirit upward. The wood trusses, along with window detailing, recall the outstretched tree branches of the surrounding forest. The tall pine posts and beams supporting the gabled roof at the entrance portico suggest tree limbs reaching towards the sky.

When the courtyard is completed, its low stonewall will “reach out and embrace visitors and symbolize both the affection and protection awaiting them inside the Chapel in the Pines.” Shaw said. “It will also provide an exterior ‘room’ to prepare for worship.”

Shaw expects Phase Two to begin construction in the summer of 2016.

For more information on Chapel in the Pines, visit http://citppc.org.

For more information Shaw Design Associates, visit http://shawdesign.us.

About Shaw Design Associates: Founded by Keith Shaw, AIA, in 1995, Shaw Design Associates, P.A. is a recognized leader in providing innovative architectural solutions for all project types – solutions based on time-tested, enduring standards and plan elements that are vital to design integrity. The firm adheres to these design truths by focusing on the land, the light, and the patterns of interaction between the owner, the structure, and the environment. Shaw Design Associates is located at 180 Providence Road, #8, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. For more information, visit shawdesign.us or call 919.493.0528.

Chapel Hill Architect and Builder Continue To Raise The Bar For Green Design and Construction

Arielle Condoret Schechter
Rendering, eastern elevation

After stealing the show during the 2015 Green Home Tour with “Happy Meadows,” the modern, net-zero passive house she designed in Pittsboro, NC, Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, now has another modern, net-zero, passive house-inspired home under construction – this time in Chapel Hill, and this time for the custom green homebuilder who helped her create Happy Meadows: Kevin Murphy of Newphire Building.

For the past decade, “greenwashing” has run rampant in the home building industry. Simply put, “greenwashing” occurs when an architect, contractor, or home builder spends more time and money claiming to be “green” through advertising and marketing than actually implementing practices that minimize environmental impact.

Arielle Schechter and Kevin Murphy take environmental impact very seriously.

Arielle Condoret Schechter, Chapel Hill architect
Rendering, front elevation

According to Murphy, the 2950-square-foot house Schechter has designed for his family of four will be “a warm and functional family home as well as a showcase of cutting-edge green building techniques.”

Architecturally, the house effortlessly combines environmental stewardship with the simple volumes, flat rooflines, open floor plan, and indoor-outdoor living that define modern styling. The first floor will feature a spacious living/dining/kitchen area connected to a screen porch that will extend the living space outdoors. The master bedroom wing will be located on the first floor with the children’s suite – complete with a multipurpose music and entertainment room –  and home office upstairs. Typical of Schechter’s residential work, a private interior courtyard will link all spaces together.

The house is located on a 4.3-acre site at the end of a private gravel road that is very secluded yet only a seven-minute drive from Chapel Hill or Carrboro. Despite the size of the lot, stream buffers, setbacks to existing well and septic concerns, and a new leach field left Murphy with a surprisingly small area on which to build his house.

Rendering, rear corner at screened porch
Rendering, rear corner at screened porch

The site’s eastern line runs down to the branch of a small creek. Beyond the creek, dozens of acres of Triangle Land Conservancy property provides a lush buffer for wildlife. The screen porch faces the forest.

Far from “greenwashing,” the Murphy home will be “net zero/net positive,” meaning that it will produce as much energy as it uses and probably even more. “We anticipate a National Green Building Standard ‘Gold’ rating,” Murphy noted.

Murphy said he will employ the techniques he’s learned while building Certified Passive Houses. His home will be super-insulated and extremely air tight, far beyond regular building code requirements. To provide the home with fresh air, Murphy and Schechter will utilize the cutting-edge Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator (CERV) that they used at the Happy Meadows home. The CERV filters, dehumidifies and tempers incoming fresh air before distributing it to the living area. The home will be heated and cooled by two tiny Fujitsu mini-split heat pumps and all of the windows will be high performance, European, triple-pane tilt and turn by Awilux. As a result, the house will need only a small array of photovoltaic (solar) panels to produce all the electricity the house will need.

To maximize both passive and active solar gain, the house’s axis run east to west, thereby capturing an abundance of southern sunlight.

According to its architect and builder/homeowner, this modern, high-performance house will be part of the 2016 Green Home Tour sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange and Chatham counties.

For more information on Arielle Condoret Schechter, visit www.acsarchitect.com. For more information on NewPhire Building: www.newphirebuilding.com.

About Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA:

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is a licensed, registered architect based in Chapel Hill, NC, who specializes in Modernist, energy-efficient buildings with a focus on passive houses, NET ZERO houses, and her new tiny house designs, Micropolis Houses™. She is a lifelong environmentalist and animal advocate who was riding on the green design train long before it became mainstream. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Arnie, and an assortment of foster animals in a Modern house she designed. For more information: www.acsarchitect.com

Shaw Design To Direct 12-Day “Building Blitz” in Chapel Hill

Rendering, front view, future New Life Fellowship hall and classroom building.
Rendering, front view, future New Life Fellowship hall and classroom building.

An army of volunteers will construct church fellowship hall.

Like a conductor directing an orchestra, Chapel Hill architect Keith Shaw, AIA, principal of Shaw Design Associates, will direct a “building blitz” later this month as local volunteers and another 55 volunteers from as far away as Trinidad come together to construct New Life Fellowship’s new 6184-square-foot fellowship hall and classroom in just 12 days.

With help from general contractor AG Builders, the blitz will take place at the church’s new campus — 166 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill — from October 25 to November 5. It will begin with a foundation slab in place and end with all interior walls framed and the Prairie Style exterior nearly completed.

“It’s going to be an exciting opportunity to witness what can be accomplished in a short time when everyone involved is so dedicated to the outcome,” Shaw said.

Well-known for the estate homes he’s designed within the gates of The Governor’s Club in Chapel Hill, Keith Shaw is also a lay leader in New Life Fellowship, a Seventh-day Adventist Church currently in Durham. As such, he and the congregation called upon Maranatha International, a supporting ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, to make this building blitz happen.

A non-profit organization, Maranatha assists with at least a dozen construction projects in North America each year by mobilizing volunteers. Projects range from renovations of existing buildings to new construction.

New Life Fellowship’s building blitz will cover Phase One of the total project. Phase Two will add a 7010-square-foot main lobby and 300-seat sanctuary to the 3.5-acre church campus.

Primary exterior building materials will include six-inch energy-saving SIPS wall panels (structural insulated panels), Hardie® Shake siding, brick and stone. All lighting will be LED, and will be donated to the project.

According to Shaw, the volunteer labor and lighting donation will provide a huge cost savings for the church. Site work is estimated at $475,000 with construction cost projected as $500,000.

For more information on the 12-day building blitz, follow New Life Fellowship’s Facebook page. For more information on Shaw Design Associates, visit http://shawdesign.us.

About Shaw Design Associates:

Founded by Keith Shaw, AIA, in 1995, Shaw Design Associates, P.A. is a recognized leader in providing innovative architectural solutions for all project types – solutions based on time-tested, enduring standards and plan elements that are vital to design integrity. The firm adheres to these design truths by focusing on the land, the light, and the patterns of interaction between the owner, the structure, and the environment. Shaw Design Associates is located at 180 Providence Road, #8, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. For more information, visit shawdesign.us or call 919.493.0528.