To cap off a banner week at Modern Asheville Real Estate we are thrilled to announce the sale of the Cotton Mill Studios building in the River Art District this week. Our loved clients get to move on to other creative ventures and the building has been stewarded into appreciative hands for this unique property. A special thanks to Kelly and Carla for the extra effort in wrangling this one to close. Cheers!
Tag Archives: commercial
Hi Folks! It is going to be a beautiful night and the awards ceremony will be held outside at the City County Plaza in front of great architecture. For a peek at the entries go here and watch the video overview.The outdoor awards is tonight and is $25 for General Admission which includes beer, wine and catering by Corner Kitchen. 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!
Hi 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!
We love seeing these drawings by architect Henry Gaines of SIX Associates for a proposed restaurant on Battery Park Ave. The client was Mrs. H.A. Chandler and the drawings are dated 1958. Given the austerity and time period one could see Alfred Hitchcock strolling by. The restaurant was to have a main floor and mezzanine with offices above. I could find no other information, but would love to get the skinny if anyone has anything further to share.
Thanks to the NC Collection at the Pack Place Library for archiving and sharing these drawings. They are a valued resource here. If you happen to have original architectural drawings for your home or commercial building we ask you to drop them off to have scanned so they become preserved as part of the digital archives. Cheers and thanks!
As one of the first buildings on UNCA’s new location built on former farm land, Phillips Hall is the University’s main administration building. Phillips Halls was completed in 1961 having been designed local architects SIX ASSOCIATES. In 1970 the building was officially named in honor of Robert F. Phillips, a member of the UNCA Board of Governors and the Asheville-Biltmore College Board of Trustees.
Phillips Hall, which features a breezeway connecting two wings, currently houses the administrative offices of the Chancellor and the vice chancellors for Academic Affairs, Administration, Finance and Human Resources.
A special thinks to Kevan from Asheville By Foot for my personal tour of UNCA and helping gather information on the campus. Cheers! Troy
Years back my architectural college pals, Christa Rybczynski and Lawrence Grown, moved to Berkeley to open their own light fixture manufacturing company. With a natural affinity towards green and recycled they recently launched a series crafted with used alcohol bottles. The aesthetic seems to reflect the rustic trend in interiors, both commercial and residential, seen in Asheville along with the popularity of craft cocktails and brewing. Go here to see the new line along with their entire collection. Better yet — place an order. Cheers! Troy
PCB&L Architects reconstruct ABC’s Brand Identity
I have been enjoying the three new ABC Stores popping up around Asheville in the last year. My jaded, winter outlook of late has been warmed by the progressive nature of the sunny, new design from a government agency. It is refreshing to see such thoughtful construction in the context of the commercial strips of Tunnel Road, Leicester Highway and elsewhere. The modern composition and rhythmic nature of the facade, including the new brightly colored graphic, is not only elegant, it honors the nature of how you experience it from the automobile. The entire facade serves as memorable and well branded sign for speedy travelers negotiating traffic and other commercial entities of our mountain version of the American commercial strip.
Curious to know how this came about I met with architect Richard Fort of PCB&L Architects in downtown Asheville. Richard was the lead architect on the three new buildings. The architecture company was hired to design both the building and to develop the branding and supporting graphics. Richard stated that the Asheville ABC Board was indeed progressive in their thinking. They realized that their old stores were as unwelcoming as a dirty adult bookstore and were a deterent to the everyday female shoppers they were now aggressively trying to market. As I know from real estate 80% of home buying decisions are made by women along with purchases for the home. In an attempt to expand their market and create a more welcoming environment for all consumers they wanted a more open, well lit and transparent shopping experience. Now isn’t that nice.
Another important point was that the retail building was designed and built on a very tight budget. The design firm fought to keep key materials such as the contrasting bricks in place and worked to balance the design budget in other ways. This goes to show you that economic commercial buildings don’t have to be done in synthetic stucco and plastic windows. With appropriate and professional design planning you can have a sophisticated building that stands out, surpasses your neighbors and is openly sexy. Thank you Asheville ABC board for your progressive strategy and PCB&L for your mindful stewardship of your clients vision and brand. We all benefit from your refreshing collaboration. Admittedly, I write this while sipping on a glass of Sky ginger vodka that I could not resist buying while photographing the interior. Not feeling naughty enough I am deviously hopeful my purchase bought a nice, deep grey brick for another ABC Store somewhere in the future.
Article and Photographs by Troy Winterrowd
Having driven by LUX Lighting for over a year I thought a visit was long overdue. LUX Lighting is an architectural lighting retail store offering design services for your lighting needs. Christi Butts, who is the owner and a certified lighting consultant, says,”We really love to get in at the ground level and do the lighting design in the planning stages. It offers more opportunities for the property owner.” On staff is David Terry, an experienced and certified lighting designer. LUX staff has created lighting designs for the Capital Center Building remodel in downtown Asheville, the Usual Suspects restaurant, many modern downtown condos and residential homes in exclusive communities.
I asked Christi what she would tell people when starting their home planning stages that we don’t often think about. She talked about all the different levels of lighting throughout a home. There can be anywhere from 3 to 5 levels of lighting in the kitchen. 1. General or Recessed Lighting 2. Task or under cabinet lighting 3. Decorative Pendants 4. Art Lighting 5. Night Lighting/Toe Kick Lighting. Overall, there is a lot to consider in balancing the sources of light so you don’t get either shadows or glare.
What do they sell? They sell fixtures to complete your home from front to back whether you are remodeling or starting from scratch. Though their showroom leans towards modern they have all styles of fixtures for every type of home. Worth noting is that they are the only dealers in WNC for “Modern Fans”.
While finishing up our discussion Christi stated, ” Most of us don’t know we are living in poor lighting until we have experienced really good lighting. That particularly comes across in bathrooms. Most fixtures on the market create strong shadows that aren’t flattering for us.” I agreed. It is the same way I feel about most floor plans of developer homes. Most people don’t know a good floor plan until you have lived in a well laid out one. It really can change your life and make living easier and more enjoyable. From my personal experience reworking your lighting is one to the simplest and most effective ways to change and enhance your living experience. So when you are ready to do so stop by and visit the folks at LUX Lighting at 105 Broadway St. in downtown Asheville. They make it easy with in home consultations.
Alexander, perhaps best known as Dr. Neon, resides quite expressively at Farkham Hall — a converted 12,000 sq.ft. church that stood abandoned for years before he purchased it in 2002. There is nothing normal about Farkham Hall. But then, for Alexander, normal is highly overrated.
An artist and creator, Alexander approached life with a nothing-is-impossible attitude and a thirst for pushing the envelope. Fast bikes, fast cars, and bright lights are all part of the script. He earned the moniker of Dr. Neon by being the first to introduce neon tubing for motorcylces, and later cars. He’s originally from California where he also created neon art for Disney, MGM, and Twentieth Century Fox.
His affable nature led him to the stage as a stand-up comedian trading wisecracks with the likes of Pauly Shore and the late Sam Kinison. All thos pursuits would have comprised an impressive resume sufficient for most people. Alexander, however, was just getting started. He builds custom bikes, does metal fabrication both commercially and artistically, is a talented wood and silver artist, and built a custom car for Snap-On Tools. His home, including his 75,000 sq.ft. workshop, is a visual tour of his creative genious.
Wearing camouflage bib overalls and sporting a mischievous grin, he begins the tour in his shop where he and his assistants are preparing for a knife show in Atlanta. “Welcome to my laboratory!” he says wtih outstretched arms. He fabricates the knives entirely on-site, from the forging of the blades to the carving of the handles made of elk and deer antlers. Decorative handcast silver animal replicas adorn each one.
The shop is abuzz with activity as Alexander continues to give instructions and answer questions. He admits that the workshop was the property’s big selling point for him because it allows him to live and work in the same place. Plus, he adds, “I’ve got the best view of the river.” There is every tool and gadget one could possibly need — all neatly organized (in customized Snap-On Tool chests, of course). There is even a paint booth where Alexander dos custom auto and bike painting.
Walking back toward the house, Alexander points out his auto collection including two Chevies (a ’57 and a ’54), a ’61 Cadillac, and a ’74 Indy Pace Car. A quick stop at the garage reveals his motorcycles, including a tricked out Harley.
Farkham Hall, like its owner, is boldly eccentric and fun. The abandoned church was in bad shape when he bought it, but his ability to visualize things into creation has worked its magic. “It took two years to clean this place up,” he says. “it was a mess.”
A neon image of Albert Einstein gazes out over the open living room and kitchen. Large diamond-shaped, slate-colored tiles cover the floor and draw the eye to the art deco tile work on the fireplace. A collection of flying pigs and cows hangs happily from ceilings and others are perched on tables giving visitors and idea of Alexander’s whimsical tendencies.
The kitchen is his pride and joy. An avid cook and gourmand, Alexander ripped out the ceiling and replaced it with corrugated steel that he recycled from the site and illuminated with a fabulous blue neon glow. He brought in high-end commercial appliances, created custom door pulls, and added beautiful cabinetry in a warm honey color.
The loft space above the kitchen serves as the master bedroom where Alexander’s collection of tin toys from robots and wind-up cars to noise-making space guns is displayed. The master bath is huge and features Alexander’s handiwork in the leaded copper shower and personal shaving mirror.
The tour continues down a handcrafted spiral steel staircase to what could easily be considered fantasy land. Here visitors find a large castle Alexander constructed entirely of sugar cubes and featuring hundreds of detailed pewter knights and soldiers he sculpted and cast himself. On this level are also the “planes, trains and automobiles room, ” the library , and his office.
What used to be classrooms have been converted to work spaces for his neon production, metal casting, and other artistic endeavors. The former sanctuary is now a grand hall boasting 48-foot ceilings, polished wood floors, and a stage. He currently holds dance classes there on Wednesday nights and rents out the space for parties and other functions.
Article courtesy of The Laurel of Asheville, July 2009
A Commentary on the BB&T Building in downtown Asheville.
Local Architect Mark Allison was generous enough to send me his new video commentary on the BB&T Building. Enjoy this interesting history into the architectural influences of Mies Van Der Rohe. Copy the link at the bottom of this post into your address bar.
The BB&T Building was completed in 1965 as the headquarters for North Western Bank. It is 18 stories, was built by George Goodyear and designed by D. Gene Whittington.
The BB&T building reflects the International style of Mies Van Der Rohe. Mies’s thirty years as an American architect reflect a more structural, pure approach towards achieving his goal of a new architecture for the 20th Century. He focused his efforts on the idea of enclosing open and adaptable spaces with clearly arranged structural frameworks, featuring pre-manufactured steel shapes infilled with large sheets of glass. His early projects at the IIT campus and for developer Herb Greenwald opened the eyes of Amercians to a style that seemed a natural progression of the almost forgotten 19th century Chicago School style. His architecture with origins in the German Bauhaus and western European International Style became an accepted mode of building for American cultural and educational institutions, developers, public agencies, and large corporations.
The BB&T building does not live up to some key design principles of Mies as Mark will point out in his video.
(text by Troy Winterrowd, photo courtesy of the Pack Memorial Library)
Hotel Indigo is a new boutique hotel situated on the edge of downtown where the former Chamber of Commerce building sat. It can’t be missed towering over the highway 240 while currently under construction.
Here is information provided by reporter Mark Barrett of the Citizen-Times: The building will contain 100 hotel rooms and 12 condominium units. Hotel Indigo is a relatively new brand of InterContinental Hotels Group, a United Kingdom based company. The chain is “very artsy and eclectic,” and Hotel Indigos are designed individually instead of employing chainwide, cookie cutter designs. This new hotel is designed by a local company.