On The Boards: Arielle Condoret Schechter Designs A Modern Family Destination

Modern Cabin

Modernist architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, has a host of projects underway these days. Among the residential work taking shape in her home studio and office, high atop Stillhouse Bluff in Chapel Hill, is a Modern Cabin out in rural Orange County, North Carolina.

A couple from San Francisco commissioned Schechter to design their Modern Cabin where one of their sons will live for a few years until they permanently relocate to North Carolina.

The couple asked the architect for a “sort of rustic but more modern cabin” that would become their permanent home as well as a family get-together destination optimized for comfortable visits with their two children.

Unlike stereotypical cabins, Schechter’s design expresses its modernity in materials, space, and architectural vocabulary. Abundant glazing will welcome sunlight and panoramic views of the wooded setting into the house. Under flat rooflines, the open floor plan will provide a natural, unfettered journey through the house and outside onto balconies and porches.

Like any well-designed cabin, traditional or modern, the structure will be efficient and durable. Schechter expects construction to begin this spring.

For more information on the architect 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.

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Trig Modern Raises Nearly $5000 for SAFE Haven for Cats During “The Cat’s Meow” Auction

The Dwell House by Grant Newton

Dubbed the “Dwell House,” a sleek composition of intersecting cubic volumes rendered in white laminate and natural wood, was one of six Modern cat houses created by architects and furniture designers to benefit SAFE Haven for Cats during The Cat’s Meow Cocktail Party and Auction sponsored by Trig Modern design center and showroom in Raleigh.

For the auction, the six imaginative houses were joined by a mixed-media painting by Louis St. Lewis of Raleigh and New Orleans, a large neon tabby cat sculpture perched on an old radio by neon artist Nate Sheaffer of Raleigh, and an iconic mid-century modern chair from Modernica donated by Trig Modern’s owner Bob Drake.

Under The Sea by i.S. Design

Approximately 100 cat enthusiasts attended The Cat’s Meow, along with

For Perching, Playing, and Napping by Little Associates.

two three-month-old kittens that SAFE Haven’s founder and director, Pam Miller, and a few volunteers brought to the event. Trig Modern provided an abundance of party food, wine, beer, and chilled water for the crowd as they perched on modern sofas and chairs throughout the showroom.

Mixed-media painting by Louis St. Lewis

With entertaining encouragement from professional auctioneer Ben Farrell, who donated his services to the cause, every item sold for prices that exceeded their designers’ expectations. Proceeds went directly to SAFE Haven for Cats in Raleigh, a non-profit, no-kill cat shelter and clinic that, to date, has found homes for nearly 8500 formerly stray and abandoned cats and kittens.

The auction itself netted $4525 with the “Dwell House” by Greensboro furniture designer Grant Newton commanding

The Cat Cave by Corey Baughman

the highest winning bid at $1150. Other donations brought in $274 and SAFE Haven sold $59 in retail items, making the grand total for the evening $4858.

Neon sculpture by Nate Shaeffer

“We want to thank Pam and the SAFE Haven volunteers; our delightful auctioneer Ben Farrell who made the auction entertaining as well as profitable; the architects, designers and artists who contributed their time and talent to the cause: and everyone who attended, especially all of the enthusiastic bidders,” said Bob Drake. “It was a wonderful evening and we’re looking forward to another Cat’s Meow next year.”

Background: This past February, Drake and Trig Modern’s interior designer Ann

Marie Baum, a SAFE Haven volunteer, invited architects and other designers throughout the Triangle to create “cool, modern” houses for indoor cats for the fundraising auction. According to guidelines, the houses had to be modern in style and of such quality that potential bidders would welcome them in their homes. They also had to be small enough to fit through a regular residential door and light enough for two people to carry them.

Multi-Use Play Tower by Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA

The following designers created the cat structures:

The “O” by Bret Page Architecture

For more information on Trig Modern, visit www.trigmodern.com

For more information on SAFE Haven for Cats, visit www.safehavenforcats.org.

About Trig Modern:

Founded in December 2012, Trig Modern is owned and operated by furniture and lighting designer Bob Drake. Through its combination of modern and mid-century-inspired furniture, lighting, wall and floor coverings, and accessories, as well as Modern kitchen and bath remodeling services, Trig Modern’s mission is to present a realistic portrait of sensible living and offer an antidote to excess, formality, and convention. For more information, visit www.trigmodern.com, call 919.516.8744 and find Trig Modern on Facebook. The showroom is located at 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road, Suite 109, Raleigh, NC 27604.

About SAFE Haven for Cats:

SAFE Haven’s mission is to ensure the well-being of every cat through adoption, affordable spay/neuter services, community outreach and adherence to no-kill principles. The shelter receives no government funds and relies solely on private donations for 84% percent of its budget. Visit safehavenforcats.org for more information.

TRIG Modern Announces Exclusive Deal with ValDesign

Trig Modern
A ValDesign kitchen

Downtown Raleigh store now offers high-end Italian kitchen systems.

 Trig Modern, the modern furniture, lighting, and interior design store located in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, is now the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill “Triangle” region’s exclusive dealer for ValDesign, The Alf Group’s contemporary kitchen cabinetry systems.

ValDesign systems are designed and manufactured in Italy’s Veneto region, which is internationally recognized as one of the best furniture manufacturing areas in the world. The collection features a choice of high-end woods, lacquered and matt oak, lacquered colors, metallic lacquered colors, Melamine, cement resin, PVC, and laminated casework with polished or etched glass.

Speaking for himself and interior designer Anne Marie Baum, Trig’s owner, Bob Drake, noted, “Both Ann Marie and I were immediately attracted to ValDesign because of its ability to accomplish so many functions through its beautiful simplicity, spectacular finishes, and quality manufacturing.”

ValDesign’s parent company, The Alf Group, dates back to the 1950s. A group of highly skilled, experienced Italian craftsmen founded a co-op in Francenigo (Treviso) to mass-produce wooden furniture. In just a few years Alf became a luminary member of the Italian woodworking market. As a result, the late Oliviero Piovesana and his brother bought the company and invested additional resources.

According to Furniture Fashion reviewer Ronique Gigson, ValDesign “has the calming, sedate feel that will always bring you down to earth and back home.  The simple, cube-like basics of this kitchen echo a little bit of mid-century retro in their attitude… The combination of modular, rectangular cabinets and geometric lines of shelving turns a blank wall into a contemporary piece of three-dimensional installation art.”

Trig Modern is having a ValDesign demonstration kitchen installed in the store this month. In the meantime, anyone interested can look through samples of the systems’ various materials and discuss the collection with Bob Drake or Ann Marie Baum.

Trig Modern is located at 328 West Jones Street in downtown Raleigh. For more information, visit www.trigmodern.com or call 919.516.8744.

Trig Modern bcsAbout Trig Modern:

Opened in December 2012, Trig Modern is owned and operated by furniture and lighting designer Bob Drake. Through its combination of Modern and mid-century-inspired furniture, lighting, and accessories, as well as Modern kitchen and bath remodeling services, Trig’s mission is to present a realistic portrait of sensible living and offer an antidote to excess, formality, and convention. For more information visit www.trigmodern.com, call 919.516.8744, and find Trig on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TRIGModern.

East of Edenton: Two Homes Tours Highlight Young Firm’s Pioneering Project in Downtown Raleigh

E. Edenton St. houses

AIA Triangle and NC Modernist Houses tour-goers discovered Raleigh Architecture Co.’s innovative urban infill houses in an old neighborhood.

“Hungry Neck,” an old, established neighborhood just east of Downtown Raleigh, is not an expected destination for homes tours. A mixed-use neighborhood, most of the houses there were built between 1900 and 1940 and many of those are in disrepair.

However, two recent homes tours – the Triangle section of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA Triangle) Residential Tour on October 11th and North Carolina Modernist Houses’ (NCMH) annual “ModaPalooza Tour” of strictly Modernist houses on October 17 – brought hundreds of surprised participants to the 500 block of East Edenton Street. There they discovered two Modernist urban-infill houses designed and built by Craig Kerins, AIA, and Robby Johnston, AIA, of the Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo).

At 554 and 556 East Edenton Street, these houses are actually two of five RACo-designed Modernist houses that will soon grace the Hungry Neck neighborhood within a block of each other. One across the street, the Hungry Neck house at 562 New Bern Avenue, is under construction. (The NCMH group got a sneak-peak inside.) Next door to the Hungry Neck house, the Floyd house at 558 New Bern is just a foundation at the moment, as is the fifth project, the Powers house at 567 New Bern.

“We’re very committed to downtown Raleigh,” said architect Robby Johnston, AIA, who owns the two-year-old design/build firm with his partner, architect Craig Kerins, AIA. “The name of our firm reflects that and we maintain both our office and shop under one roof in the Warehouse District. We’re very interested in building community in this neighborhood, which is really a delightful place where people on porches and walking down the sidewalk interact all the time.”

Johnston and Kerins also live in or near the downtown district. In fact, 554 Edenton is Johnston’s private residence, which he shares with his wife and two young daughters. Nabarun Dasgupta and Roxanne Saucier own the house next door with son Ishan.

How did RACo manage to get all five commissions? “We created the first two, the Edenton homes, by purchasing both properties and preparing a development proforma to court prospective clients,” Johnston explained. “Once these took shape the phone began ringing with interest not only in the area but also in the kind of architecture we were offering. Then we began to create relationships between our clients and prospective landowners and served as purchase advisors/consultants based on our institutional knowledge of the actual value of building in this area.”

Johnston calls the two completed houses on the recent tours “paternal twins.” Architecturally, they share certain similarities, he explained, including North Carolina cypress siding, window style, thin shed roofs, and a narrow footprint – yet maintain individual identities through variations in form and materials. They also share a green space/courtyard since the compact lots didn’t allow for individual side yards, as well as upper-level outdoor spaces: Johnston’s 1800-square-foot house features a second-floor terrace while the 2100-square-foot Dasgupta-Saucier house features a third-story terrace.

The houses differ in additional exterior materials. Gray slate from a demolished house in nearby Historic Brooklyn neighborhood became siding for 554 Edenton. The Corten steel which wraps around 556’s upper level is transforming from a raw steel finish to a uniform, intentional patina as it acclimates to is downtown Raleigh surroundings.

Since Kerins and Johnston knew they were introducing Modernist, sustainable residential design to this old urban neighborhood, they made a concerted effort to recall architectural elements from the existing structures. Front porches, created and shaded by cantilevered upper forms, “pay tribute to the importance of ‘public’ outdoor space in these and all historic Southern homes,” Kerins noted. The houses address the sidewalk at the same distance as neighboring houses and floor-to-ceiling windows on the lower levels engage the neighborhood while high windows on the upper levels provide privacy for the personal spaces there.

To ensure an abundance of natural light in these slim houses, RACo designed open floor plans for both with double-height cores capped by large skylights. RACo fabricated open steel staircases in each to accommodate vertical circulation. At 556 Edenton, the staircase is a bold element within the space.

The NCMH “ModaPalooze” group also visited RACo’s renovation of the Larry Wheeler-Don Doskey house in Chapel Hill.

For more information on the Raleigh Architecture Company, 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: info@raleigh-architecture.com.