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Category Archives: Modern
SHELBURNE WOODS UPDATE | Kelly and I are super excited by the progress on 51 Shelburne Woods in West Asheville. This speculative home constructed by Mountain Sun Builders has beautiful lines and flow throughout. We stopped by just before the insulation was about to begin to see the Souther Yellow Pine timber construction and formaldehyde free plywoods of the light, bright and functional spaces. And wait to see you the dramatic views of the greenway path in the ravine behind this new small community. Stand by for when we bring this one to the market soon. Cheers!
The Silver Lake was one of our favorite neighborhoods in LA while living there. Like Asheville, Los Angeles has hidden mid-century treasures tucked into hillsides. Enjoy this brief video on Richard Neutra’s own house and have a great Monday!
MOD MEN | Here is a timely story as we at Modern Asheville Real Estate work to enter a couple of mid-century homes for Griffin Preservation awards. It would be a first for this era of homes locally. As inspiration enjoy this story about the restoration of a mid-century architectural masterpiece. In 1962, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill architect Arthur Witthoefft won the AIA’s highest honor for a home he built in the lush woods of Westchester County. Having fended off a developer’s wrecking ball, Todd Goddard and Andrew Mandolene went above and beyond to make this manse mint again. Check out the article HERE. Happy Sunday!
Carolina Home + Garden by Lauren Stepp | Check out the article on this 474 sqft infill house in the Kenilworth neighborhood by the team of Wilson Architects and Lobo Builders. It is one of the more interesting and unique constructions of this past year that Kelly and I were able to tour and a good example of site specific design. Cheers!
I stopped by to visit the progress at Shelburne Woods, a new eco-friendly mini-community in West Asheville. The framing has begun on 51 Shelburne Woods and landscaping will be going in after Thanksgiving. Sweet! Give us a call if you want to know more or go here for more info. Cheers!
by McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture | This Fairview home was recognized recently during the AIA Asheville Design Awards that we attended. We were struck by the home’s simplicity and overall utility. Programmatically, here is how the architect’s describe the home. “The residence is situated along the leading of a gently sloping ridge in the home, which minimized the influence to the site but maximized views and solar orientation.The home’s simple L-shape supplies a all-natural division of exterior public and private area, which is basically landscaped to complement the austerity of the architecture. Functionally, this L-shaped program supplies a linear organization of roughly 2,000-square-feet of residing and sleeping spaces, which are linked by an entry foyer to a 2-vehicle garage.
The objective internally was to supply a sense of openness among rooms and accentuate the perception of the interior volume. The use of butt joint glazing atop walls supplies sound manage and privacy however also makes it possible for light to stream through the whole interior rather than merely in each and every individual area. Simple use of created-in wardrobes, cabinetry, pocket doors, and other space-saving characteristics provided fantastic efficiency and accentuated the internal present day character.
Formally, the shed offered a indicates to capture sunlight along the substantial southern wall, generating a much more dramatic presence to the public side, with a a lot more intimate scale for the rear courtyard. Protected by an 8-foot-deep overhang, the southern wall remains totally shaded throughout the summer yet makes it possible for sunlight into the whole depth of rooms in winter to heat the interior polished concrete slab. This naturally seasonal lighting mixed with other sustainable functions this kind of as a geothermal heat pump, hydronic in-floor heating, highly insulated exterior walls and roof, Solarban glazing, and fluorescent lighting have resulted in minimum energy utilization.
To attain the sought after modern day theme, the use of resources is restrained, only accentuated in which necessary to generate emphasis. These materials incorporate stucco, fiber cement panels, aluminum storefront and entry doors, metal roofing, and polished stained concrete block.” Photos courtesy of Kevin Meechan
Have you driven by Beaver Lake recently? You might have noticed the new modern home under construction on Merrimon Ave. The home is the vision of local architect Robert Griffin that he has designed for a custom client. The details of the home, including these renderings he sent to us, will be featured in the Fall edition of Carolina Home and Garden magazine. Check it out next month. Cheers and have a great week!
The German philosopher Freidrich von Schelling said, “Architecture is music in space as if it were frozen music” while Plato stated, “Rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.” Even without knowing it as a young boy I was fascinated by rhythm used in the design of buildings. For me it is the breath of life for most constructions. Here is a photo of my grade school by modern architect Ed Barnes as featured in Life magazine in 1965. The repetitive massing and lines distinguishing functional volumes, as well as, flooding the spaces with indirect natural light. Other childhood examples included the church by Eliel Saarinen across from our central library and the telephone switching station one block from that.
As human beings we are naturally drawn to experiencing things that are done in a rhythm such as music, dance, poetry; where time and movements are coordinated. Rhythm, or repetition, through design can be generated by a harmonious sequence of structural components, a pattern of masses alternating with voids, a sequence of light alternating with shades or shadows, and alternating colors or textures. Like in music rhythm in design naturally evokes emotion without cognitive awareness. Order and flow create harmony.
Locally, we have many classic examples. Take a look at our art deco buildings. It is easy to see the breakdown of rhythmical patterns limited to building fenestrations both horizontally and vertically.
Moving to more modern examples I draw from my hikes around UNCA starting with the university’s original building Phillips Hall. Constructed in 1961 and designed by SIX Associates the building layers rhythms experientially as you walk up the stairs and into the interior via its structural columns, window walls, railing and even light placement. There I’m reminded of the Bauhaus interpretation of building as machine.
One of my favorite contemporary buildings in Asheville is Overlook Hall. Completed in 2012 the facade of this residence hall portrays a more poetic pattern or rhythm that suggests that each individual student has their own unique placement or viewpoint within the mass fabric of being a student on campus. They are both unique and the same at once.
A more sophisticated residential example is Carlton Architecture’s Slickrock House in the Mountain Air community shown below. There are many complimentary patterns and rhythms working together: standardized structural supports, a roofline emphasizing various volumes of space and light, window mullions and surface patterns. Much like an artist, musician or poet — a designer has to work back and forth balancing the realities of materials and elements with a more intuitive sense of balance and flow until a natural harmony is achieved.
Late architect Michael Graves said, “I see architecture not as Gropius did, as a moral venture, as truth, but as invention, in the same way that poetry or music or painting is invention.” So, the next time you think of a building as static and all engineering based you might want to take a deeper look. Perhaps you might even hear it.
Want to see more modern examples of rhythm in architecture? Yep — we have a Pinterest page for that, too. Have the best Sunday ever. I know we will if you stop and see us at the Flea for Y’all today. Bring an umbrella. Cheers!
Under Construction | Here is a quick peek at what David Way of Roost, Inc is currently working on. This 1900 sqft home anchored to the hillside of Chicken Hill is getting closer to completion. The interior spaces have high ceiling heights to add more light and vertical space to the efficient floor plan. Both the upper levels will have expansive viewing decks to increase the three season, livable space. The two rectilinear masses defining separate living spaces will be clad in complimentary materials. The lower mass is currently being wrapped in rough-sawn boards. Overall, a cool addition to our urban infill. Cheers!
Article from February 2009 | Architect Mark Allison is a native of Asheville. He left Asheville after high school to study at UNC Charlotte. He followed that with studies in Denmark and then finished with his degree from the Pratt Institute. Eventually, he moved to Atlanta where he spent several years working for the Epsten Group. The Epsten Group was one of the first design groups in Atlanta practicing sustainable principles and LEED certifications with their projects. In 1997 he returned to Asheville where he worked for both PBC&L Architects and Samsel Architects. One year ago, after completing a home for him and his family, he opened his own design office.
Mark’s office is in his new home, which is located in one of my favorite mid-century neighborhoods off of Town Mountain Rd. The home was constructed on a steep slope opposite many 1960’s contemporary homes. While creating a 3300 sqft modern home for today his design is sensitive to the context of his neighbors all while balancing with the steep slope of his 1.5 acre site.
Mark’s use of sustainable materials was evident through much of his home along with incorporating some passive solar exposure. The steep slope of the site allowed the incorporation of a deep basement into the foundation. Mark made use of a pre-cast concrete system to allow for larger openings and more a natural light. The basement does not feel like a basement.
One of the mechanical items I knew little about was the Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV). Mark tried to explain it to me, but it went in one ear and out the other while admiring the house. Doing an online search I found the dictionary explanation in unreadable technical jargon. Still not getting it I found this video that will helped. Take a moment to watch.
Previous to visiting Mark’s office and home I looked at his website. I noticed two projects I wanted to discuss with him.
One of the two projects is a concept for a commercial building along Merrimon Ave. Mark has a great deal of experience developing commercial projects. In Mark’s words, “This building for a retail or office tenant creates a pedestrian oasis against heavy automobile traffic on Merrimon Avenue. A south-facing courtyard shielded from the street by an armature of precast concrete and glass block wall creates a multifunction courtyard. One passes from here to an inner court between an existing building and the new. The design reinforces the emerging pedestrian character of this new urban edge. The challenge was to create an economical, energy efficient shell that is true to its concept, affords flexibility to its future tenants.” I could immediately recognize and appreciate the attempts Mark was making to address both the automobile and the pedestrian. The simplicity, scale and continuous portion of the architectural marquee creates a billboard to help identify it from an automobile. At the same time the way the pedestrian level falls back becomes welcoming to those on foot. For me they are simple, clean gestures that get the job done while addressing issues that many new buildings along Merrimon don’t.
The other project I noticed is a home he is creating for a family in Asheville. He is designing a 1500q/ft., sustainable house that will house 3 generations under one roof. The house utilizes passive solar design principles and is tailored to its gently sloping site. Shared terraces and courtyards join both the public and private wings. I appreciated what he and his clients were working to achieve and believe that they were creating something we will see more of in the future which is a smaller home with the flexibility to house more generations, accommodate a professional office all while working to be energy efficient.
Looking at Mark’s projects you notice that he works closely in blending the program of each project with the context of the specific site. He works back and forth with all the different issues involved in designing a building until there is a natural balance of all the pieces while always including his individual, creative vision as part of the process and result.
(text by Troy Winterrowd, Mark’s house photos by John Fletcher of the Citizen Times)
Tonight was the Matsumoto Design Awards in Raleigh celebrating modernist residential design across the state of North Carolina. Locally, we had four entries. Jason Weil received a People’s Choice Award for his home design at Ceil. Congrats Jason! And congrats to our friends at In-Situ Studio for their own Matsumoto Awards as well. And thanks to George Smart and NC Modernist Houses for hosting the awards for five straight years. Cheers!