Tag Archives: architect

AIA Asheville 2016 Design Awards

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 6.15.03 AMHi Folks! It is almost time for the AIA’s Annual Design Awards. I got a peek at all the 40 some regional entries last night at our board meeting. There are some cool designs entered in the competition. The outdoor event is $25 for General Admission which includes beer, wine and heavy nibbles. The 30 minute awards portion will be presented via a cool multi-media projection. Come and enjoy this outdoor ceremony at the City County Plaza. For tickets and information go here. Come and join us Modern Mixer crowd. Cheers!

Architect Mark Allison

kArticle 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 1chand 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.8ch

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.intro-home

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 1street-final-copyemerging 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.1jh-copy

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.0815-plan-sd-copy1

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)

Kudos for the Dynamic Duo

d8085586-9665-480c-9ca5-ee8daaf4d0daWe received some sweet testimonials from clients this month that we just had to share. Cheers to our great clients and friends!

SELLER Jeff who left our community for, where else, Palm Springs has been a friend and long-term client with us. Thanks for singing our praises. We miss you! “I have worked with Kelly and Troy three times while in Asheville. Every single experience was top-notch. They KNOW this market — mid-century, modern, cutting edge — all of it. They love what they are doing, and you can feel it. They are strategic and never once wasted my time. Everything they showed me was on the money. Kelly had the Mbrook Compvision to see past obstacles and offer solutions if needed, and it was never in an effort to sell me on something. I always felt that Kelly and Troy were on my side, had my best interest at heart, and that I was THE most important client they had. They have class and smarts and made selling AND buying easier. I’ve been on both sides of that table, and let’s face it, those can be stressful times. But I never felt stressed or pressured. They take care of all the angles. I will be forever grateful for their expertise and sincerity. You will not find anyone who works harder for you, or makes it as fun. Look no further!” And did we tell you the home sold for above asking price at a record level for the neighborhood?

BUYERS Andrea and Lucy just moved here from San Francisco. As we are always saying well located ranch homes are a great resource for “Making Your Modern” here in the mountains. We found them one walkable to town with mountain views. They are thrilled and preparing for the renovations with the architect and builder team all lined up. As always we can’t wait to see the results. “Kelly and Troy had an immediate intuitive sense for what we were looking for and helped us identify those types of houses without distraction. They work so seamlessly as a team–Troy’s ability to Sunset Compcreatively visualize the possibility for a house and its surrounds; Kelly’s extraordinary efficiency and list of contacts. We found a home quickly and were able to see its possibilities. We were also able to close quickly. We are comfortable having relied on their knowledge, and they were awesome to work with. We have now chosen to work with them on a second project.”

MODERN MONDAY | Mid-Century Modern “Sneak Peek” Video

Griffing Preview MainGood Morning! Please enjoy this one minute “sneak peek” preview of this mid-century modern masterpiece {below} presented by Kelly and Troy of Modern Asheville Real Estate. Interested? Call us at 828.545.8896 for details and enjoy the full tour. Cheers!

Sunday Morning Modern

Big0The Limitless Box | Architecturally speaking we at Modern Asheville appreciate a simple box along with many of our designer friends and clients. At a glance a rectilinear home with four walls and a flat roof may seem constrained, but can truly offer a great deal of efficiency, versatility and freedom. Having designed sets in a simple black box theater you know that you can truly do anything you want on the inside with minimal means. And for those of you who joined us at architects Maria and Jakob’s home this past spring you will call the richness and sophistication behind the simplicity of their own corten box home.Your basic ranch home offers this potential if you look past the plain exterior and existing wall configuration.  515 Residence3
Recently, husband and wife architects, Thad and Lindsey Rhoden of SPARC Design constructed a box of their very own. Seeking something different they avoided the competitiveness for a building lot in burgeoning East or West Asheville. Given their vision they could see potential in lots that seemed less desirable in the marketplace. They chose a lot hugging the edge of downtown that had been on the market for some time given the odd shape, access to sewer and rules regarding steep slope. Living Space
The constraints of the site and the project budget were variables out of which the design emerged. The overall house program was simple: create a minimal home that celebrates the main living space, winter views and prioritizes functionality over excess.Entry
Because there are condominiums directly across the street, they made the house private on the entrance side, and opened it up in the ‘rear’ of the house. The main living space is sunk a story below the road and that contributes to a private feel.515-Residence-BR
Lindsey says that they wanted the house to feel like a retreat far away, yet still close to town. “We have large patio doors and lots of windows and they are placed so that in the summer, we look out to the trees. It’s very peaceful with exception of some big windy rain storms of this past week.”
Thad states,“The house is pretty simple from the outside; it’s a box with a flat roof. We knew we had to keep the footprint small for cost purposes, and the steepness of the site means you’re not able to get a good look at the house from all sides. Our focus was more on the interior and making it feel open and inviting, and that extends outside with a large deck.”Rhoden Box
As experienced architects they knew that a large portion of the budget would go to site work to build on a steep site. As a result, they chose a lot of simple, accessible materials and then picked a few special elements including a big 84” Haiku fan (by Big Ass Fans), and a super tiny Duravit sink for the 1/2 bath.515-Residence-CS1
Thad and Lindsey, along with their new baby, are enjoying the freedom that their simple, but thoughtful, home allows them. What can first seem like constraints {a challenging site or a box} offers opportunities to focus on what is truly important and get the most out of minimal means. Cheers to you Thad and Lindsey!
{Want to see more homes like this? Visit our Pinterest page here.}

Sunday Morning Modern


Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 6.28.29 AMModern Asheville has been working with North Carolina Modernist Houses for years in helping document our modern and mid-century homes here in the mountains, but who knew the extent of what they were up to? For years they have been working hard to collect the largest database on mid-century and modern architecture including period publications. Check out this recent article on it at Curbed online magazine then find yourself lost in the fascinating archives. Happy Sunday!Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 6.28.07 AM

“Open floor plans, intercoms, air conditioning, hi-fis in the home: we take these things for granted today, but back in the ‘50s, they were cutting edge. Architecture and design fans can now relive the kind of breathless coverage given to favored mid-century signifiers with Colossus, a massive online database putting decades worth of architectural periodicals and journals just a click away. Created and maintained by volunteers, the archive offers a treasure trove of articles detailing the growth and development of mid-century architecture, as well as numerous trends and the careers of designers throughout the 20th century.”


Modern Atlanta comes to Modern Asheville | Hi Folks! It is coming. Our second annual Modern Atlanta and Modern Asheville sponsored Modern Home tour here in Asheville. This year we will have 7 homes on the tour. That’s a whole lot of modern!unspecifiedThe tour will take place on Saturday, June 4th from 2 to 4pm. Some of the best of WNC contemporary homes will be on display. For more detailed information on the homes and to purchase tour tickets please go HERE. We can’t wait. Cheers!

Congrats to Samsel Architects

Fonatana Lake House Wins Fine Homebuilding Readers’ Choice Award | Samsel Architects is delighted to announce that their Fontana Lake House won Fine Homebuilding Readers’ Choice Award!Fontana-ReadersChoiceAward

This LEED Gold certified home serves as a serene family retreat and is situated almost at the water’s edge on Fontana Lake. The home’s design was inspired by its surroundings and uses a neutral color palette and natural materials. Inside, simple forms and clean lines are used throughout to create a peaceful atmosphere for this family to enjoy. Abundant windows and a glass-enclosed breezeway connecting the two sides of the home provide generous views of the lake. Some green features of this home include us or low or no V.O.C finishes, LED lighting and energy efficient appliances.Fontana-Bridge-Dining-e1410183391442

Along with the Samsel team a special thanks goes to Traci Kearns of Alchemy Design Studio, Bill Baxter of The William Baxter Company, and Hutch Kerns of Kerns Land Planning + Design for their contributions. Read more about this project in the 2016 Houses edition of Fine Homebuilding magazine or online at finehomebuilding.com. Cheers to you all!

Bert King Home Stroll | THANK YOU

King Crawl Follow UPKelly, myself and the AIA team want to share a BIG, BIG “Thank You” for the homeowners who allowed us and the public to enjoy their unique and beautiful homes this past Thursday. Kelly estimates we had over 200 appreciative people come through the Bert King designed homes. Energetically, it was a huge success. Thank you Sally, Chris, Lucy, Bill, Bryson and Kelly. We all appreciate how you are preserving a special legacy for our community. Cheers to you!

Mid-Century Home Stroll | Tonight from 5 to 7pm

Architect J. Bertram King designed Mid-Century Home StrollKing Crawl Comp

Our April Mixer is tonight folks and comes in the form of a stroll! Co-sponsored by AIA Asheville and Modern Asheville Real Estate the Stroll will consist of three 1950’s era Bert King designed homes in the Grove Park Country Club neighborhood for one evening only. This includes Bert King’s own home where he lived for decades. The tour is in honor of AIA’s National Architect’s Week honoring talented architects who’ve made positive contributions to our communities. You won’t want to miss it. Go here to see the details or print out the below image/flyer which will be provided at the stroll. There are no tickets. Just show up. We look forward to seeing you along the way. Cheers!Crawl Map

Homes are at: 222 Country Club, 15 Grovewood and 5 Northwood. We would suggest starting at either 222 Country Club or 5 Northwood. Please park on streets and not in driveways. Walking between 222 Country Club and 15 Grovewood is easy. 5 Northwood is walkable, but uphill so you may choose to drive.

In Situ Studio Presentation | Tonight

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 6.04.51 AMAIA Asheville is excited to bring you IN SITU STUDIO, a Raleigh based firm, to share their philosophy on contemporary home design in North Carolina. Join us Tuesday night at 6pm in the Lord Auditorium and welcome principals Erin Lewis and Matt Griffith as they articulate details of their mindful design practice inspired by many things including regionalism, context and culture. Go here for details and be sure to come. It is free after all!CHandG AIA Ad copy

“Every building is situated in a unique context formed of specific physical and cultural characteristics. At in situ studio, we work with our client to uncover design solutions that are unique to clients’ needs, appropriate to the places in which we are building, and innovative in the ways they solve problems through common sense. Our work is contemporary and sustainable. We prioritize stewardship of water, light, and energy. We are not prone to imitating any particular style. Rather, we seek an authentic logic for every project that transcends style.”

Modern Monday | From the Archives

SIX ASSOCIATES | 1095 Hendersonville RoadSix Associates Office

I find myself driving to South Asheville a lot lately. Soon we will have multiple listings in the area and just put in a contract for some buyers down in the thick of it. On Friday I had to stop and pay homage to the SIX ASSOCIATES and see the building from where many of our architectural designs came from. Six Associates began in 1942 as an Asheville architectural firm established by a group of western North Carolina architects: William Waldo Dodge, Jr., Henry Irvin Gaines, Anthony Lord, William Stewart Rogers, Erle G. Stillwell, and Charles Waddell. Their swanky, mid-century office was built in 1965 at 1095 Hendersonville Road. The building still exists today as an office complex housing a variety of businesses. SIX Associates