Chapel Hill-based firm Arielle Condoret Schechter is known for its commitment to building sustainable homes that don’t sacrifice elegance or comfort. The company’s latest work includes the spacious Haw River House, which was built with several efficient features to create a net-zero energy home that is seamlessly linked with its natural surroundings.
Tucked into a pristine woodland overlooking the Haw River, which runs through central North Carolina, the beautiful Haw River House sits in harmony with the landscape. Using this natural setting as inspiration, the 2,600-square-foot house is outfitted with several energy-efficient features that make it completely energy-neutral. READ MORE
For a new home on the Haw River in North Carolina’s Chatham County, architect Arielle Schechter found her inspiration in two places.
One was the river. The other was a rock.
“Walking down by the riverbank, there were so many trees cantilevered and bent out over the river, that I said: ‘I want this house to bend out over the river too,’” she says.
She placed the home on the only available buildable knoll since the 21-acre site slopes steeply down to a flood plain and riparian buffer below.
As for the rock, it actually was a huge granite boulder, split down the center. “It’s super-sculptural with a thin knife-blade through the middle where rainwater flows,” she says. “The idea of bisecting something appealed to me, so I did that with the butterfly roof.”
Anne and Bruce, the clients for this project, had recently relocated to Chapel Hill from Florida. They considered themselves “climate refugees” who no longer wanted to live through the yearly hurricanes they were experiencing in Florida. They selected Arielle Schechter for her modernist style, then agree to ramp up the design “Net-Zero Ready” in accordance with her commitment to sustainability.
They told Schechter they dreamed of a modest, yet decidedly modern, environmentally sustainable, age-in-place home in a natural, wooded setting. They found the perfect building site in a beech tree forest in Chapel Hill. READ MORE
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.
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.
When old design meets new, there’s often an element of surprise to the final result. For a residence in Raleigh’s Historic Cameron Park neighborhood, architect Katherine Hogan and designer Vinny Petrarca, the principals of Tonic Design, created an air of the unexpected that’s seamless and deferential, but also practical and beautiful, all at once. READ MORE
To provide architecture services for Wake County public schools.
Tonic Design, a multi-award-winning architectural firm based in Raleigh, NC, has qualified to provide architecture services to the Wake County Public School System, the largest school district in North Carolina, under the WCPSS’s Master Professional Services Agreements.
To qualify, Tonic Design co-owners Vincent Petrarca and Katherine Hogan, AIA, met all criteria including:
Expertise in the type of work the WCPSS would require.
Number of years the firm has been in business.
Successful past performance on similar projects that included handling budgets and scheduling.
Awards and professional acknowledgments with letters of recommendation.
Status as a minority business with 51 percent of the firm owned by, in this case, a woman.
Hogan, who is also a member of the City of Raleigh’s Appearance Commission, and Petrarca presented their qualifications to the WCPSS’s Facilities Design and Construction department. The agreement is in effect for two years
Tonic Design is currently working on a “Maker Space,” a new building for an existing private elementary school. The school’s administration wants to expand pedagogical opportunities through long-term projects and new technologies. Inspired by their mission, the partners have based the building’s form on sustainable design strategies. A large roof, for example, will define adaptable volumes of interior space and will let the students witness the sun tracking through the building during the school day.
About Tonic Design
Tonic Design is a multi-award-winning architecture firm located in Raleigh, NC. Among many accolades throughout their careers, principals Katherine Hogan, AIA, and Vincent Petrarca received the 2017 Kamphoefner Prize for Modern Architecture, one of the highest honors for practicing architects in the state. In 2013, they were named “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, Walter magazine, and Urban Home. For more information: www.tonic-design.com.
pod architecture+ design finishes eagerly anticipated Rabbit Hole Distillery.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Craig Kerins, AIA, and Robby Johnston, AIA, partners in The Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo) announce that Claire Craven has joined their firm as a project manager.
Craven received her Bachelor of Architecture degree in 2012 from the University of Tennessee’s College of Architecture and Design, where she received a Faculty Design Award for the best design project of her graduating class. She also received an Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EURēCA) Award was a member of Tau Sigma Delta, the architecture honor society. She graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Craven worked with Gray Organschi Architecture, a design-build office in New Haven, CT, before relocating to Raleigh and joining The Raleigh Architecture Co.
Her skills range from drawing in all design phases to project and construction management. She is also fluent in French and an accomplished graphic designer.
In addition to design, Claire’s interests include teaching, traveling, and working with “off-the-shelf materials because everything can be beautiful if treated thoughtfully.”
The Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo) is a full-service design-build-fabrication firm with its offices and workshop under one roof in Raleigh’s warehouse district. For more information, visit www.raleigh-architecture.com.
About The Raleigh Architecture Company:
The Raleigh Architecture Company is an award-winning design-build firm specializing in Modern sustainable architecture, and craftsman-quality construction. As licensed architects and general contractors, we consider designing and building to be one integrated process. This streamlined approach empowers us to meet our clients’ economic expectations and to seamlessly execute high quality details, both small and large. Our office and shop are located under one roof in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District at 502 S. West Street. For more information visit www.raleigh-architecture.com, call 919-831-2995, or email: email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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