Tag Archives: efficient

Parade of Homes | 108 Hudson St.

Hi Folks! Don’t forget about the Builder’s Parade of Homes this weekend. The Modern Asheville team will be hosting, along with Greg McGuffey of Earthtone Builders, at their newest construction at 108 Hudson St in West Asheville. The home won two Parade awards for energy efficiency and craftsmanship. 108 Hudson St Asheville NC-small-001-73-Front of Home-666x445-72dpi

The 1480 sqft, 3 bedroom and 2 bath home is a rare one-level, new build home for West Asheville which is what most of our clients are looking for as they age in place over time. The quality, green home Greg thoughtfully designed is earth friendly, light, airy and low maintenance which will keep it low-cost and 108 Hudson St Asheville NC-small-014-45-Kitchen-375x500-72dpisustainable. The completed home will be Near Net Zero and come with a NC Green Built Gold Certificate. In detail, it features concrete floors with radiant heat, concrete counters, vaulted ceilings, bonus loft, stainless appliances and fixtures and topped off with a galvanized metal roof and 5Kw grid-tied solar system. It should be a home our client can live easily and lightly in for decades to come.

You can visit the home, meet Greg and catch up with us over the next two weekends from 1pm to 5pm each weekend day. Or take the tour here. Or stop by there during our end of the parade Modern Mixer on Sunday from 4:30 to 6:30pm. Cheers!

FOR SALE | Finely Crafted Mountain Home

Zen and the Art of Fine Home LivingVictiria Way Blog

“It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top.”

This quote by Robert M. Pirsig from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance offers the spirit behind this hand crafted, artful and life enriching home nestled into the mountainsides of Waynesville. Similar to a Swiss watch or British sailing boat you won’t find a more finely tuned and thoughtfully detailed home. The warm and gentle environment hugs you while the engineering comforts you with a lifetime of security and low maintenance living.Comp

Architects Stephen Beili with Wilson Architects {Designers of HGTV’s Urban Oasis} penciled the original design of this home. Interior Designer Traci Kearns mindfully refined the interiors to balance openness with intimacy and a warm palette with cool detailing. The interior gently steps outward into the landscape cultivated to welcome wildlife and nurtured by a cascading waterfall just off your outdoor living space. This enlightened and heirloom worthy home is one that you or your family can escape to for generations of relaxed moments and memories.Finely Crafted Zen Mountain-MLS_Size-024-Patio-1024x768-72dpi

It is here where you can enjoy both the journey and the destination.

The 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 2517 sq ft green built home was recently constructed in 2009 and sits on 5.16 lush and private acres. Call Kelly or Troy for a detailed package on its numerous quality features and green certifications. In the meantime take the full tour here. Cheers!

SOLD | Walkable Homes x 2

Sold x 2 CompKelly and I sold these two homes this month. Both have what today’s buyers are looking for — smaller square footage and location. The homes are both 3 bedrooms under 2000 sqft and walkable to more urbanized amenities such as stores and restaurants in North and Central Asheville. Priced below $300,000 they went for asking price or slightly above leaving us with happy sellers. Cheers!

Mindful Constructions

Today, it has been almost 5 years since I first started writing Modern Asheville. As I look to evolve what I am doing with it I also look to maintain the heart of what I first thought important to share. While spending Saturday night sifting through my writing I found this simple message in one my first articles published in early 2009. It represents the spirit of what I look for here in Asheville while searching our hillsides for design driven constructions. Enjoy your Sunday.

Mindful Contstructions


The Artist, Werner Haker, has been painting for 8 years. He has dedicated himself full time to his paintings and considers it his current profession. He goes to his practice every day.  “It’s my way of chopping wood and carrying water,” he likes to say. This is how he currently makes his living.

Since the production of his last show at The Haen Gallery in Asheville, Werner has chosen to take a break from doing gallery work, as it tends to change the focus of creating. During this time his paintings have evolved and emerged further from the wall as assemblages. “The illusion of space is transitioning to the reality of space”, says the artist. He wants to create work that is more experiential. An ultimate goal for him is to create installation pieces to activate spaces.


Here I snapped a photo of Werner in front of one of his latest assemblages. It’s called Box Car Memorial. He begins with a theme or notion when he starts a piece.  This time it was the Holocaust.  Having grown up in the generation following the Holocaust in Germany he discusses the weight of the collective unconscious that people were living with during that time of reconstruction. Through the use of deconstructed symbolism, composition, weight, texture, and large and small-scale experiences – a story is pushed and pulled into existence to ultimately be completed by the observer.

Werner likes to focus on the process of creating. He is “mindful” of moving back and forth from thought to intuition and from randomness to precision.  Improvising, constructing, deconstructing, the final sobering decision becomes when to stop. When is it enough? That is when we connected on something we both appreciate, the richness in expressing something with so little. As he puts it, “How to achieve the highest degree of complexity with the least means.” This is a principle of modern creation and a good point to transition to further spatial reality, architecture.

The Architect, Werner Haker, has been practicing architecture for decades beginning in Europe. Achieving a degree in architecture he has taught, worked and had influential roles in mega-firms and ETH – The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.  Since moving to the Asheville area 15 years aexterior2go he has been a guest professor at NC State along with doing some private practice work. It is his house he designed, for him and his fashion designer wife, five years ago that became a great point for discussing his practice of design.

Werner’s house was created to be a low cost, low maintenance, passive solar and sustainable stage for not only enhancing and maintaining daily life, but for quietly stepping out of its way. The nuts and bolts description is a 3000sq/ft box that is divided half into home and half into work studios. The walls and the roof are created from a typical industrial steel structure and incorporate 8” insulated walls. They are made from recycled steel components. All walls are non-load bearing. The exterior siding, doors and windows utilize low maintenance, standardized components to keep initial and future costs to a minimum. He likes to describe fireplace1the style as “Bauhaus Trailer.” Interior walls are created to combine and frame multiple, back-to-back functions. The wall of the fireplace becomes more spatial to serve as media storage, fireplace and a screen for hiding the office along with structure for supporting the desk beyond. Combining functions is another modernist principle in design.

To emphasize the last point we can take a more detailed look at the floor.  The concrete slab floor in Werner’s home was designed to serve three functions.  First, it is the key component to the structure of the house, the foundation.  Second, it is the main surface or backdrop to the stage of living in the house, the floor.  Third, the slab is also an integral component of the home’s mechanical systems, heating through a combination of a hydronic radiant system with additional passive solar.

Compare that to a traditional home.  First, there are often footings to support the base of the home.  Then on top we may add wood beams, floor joists and sub-flooring, before getting to the final finished surface of the floor. We can then add the cost of the finished floor material (carpet, stone, wood) on top of the costs to all the layers of supporting construction. All these components are used to complete the floor and we don’t have the addition of using the floor for heat. In fact, we have created a floor that allkitchen-diningows heat to escape and requires extra cost and material to keep the heat contained. Again, like discussing his art, we both find ourselves compelled by the richness of creating so much with a seemingly small gesture. On the surface, the concrete slab appears simple and void of thought, but in reality it contains layers of sophistication.

When applying this idea to the rest of the home what is the result? As both a designer and realtor I know that homes in the Asheville area can be purchased for $150 to $500/sq.ft. I have met a builder who can build a decent quality traditional home, not sustainable, for $100 sq/ft. Werner has constructed his home for $70/sq.ft including all infrastructure and labor. It may be a good time to consider the implications of this by comparing it to the houses created today and the quality of life of its inhabitants.

Werner states it is not a matter of being green on its own. That is only one aspect of a broader way of thinking. Again, it is a matter of being “mindful” of each choice he makes in designing a home. Like his art, it is a matter of knowing when final-illustration3to add, when to combine and when to take away. Does an element enhance or hinder the story and the ability for the observer to create their own story? Likewise with architecture, does an element enhance or hinder living life in a home and the freedom to create your own life, both today and tomorrow?

by Troy Winterrowd


A Rustic Modern Exterior

This clever new infill house near UNCA is a 4 bedroom and 3 bath home efficiently tucked into 1600 sq/ft of living space. While the interior is very smooth and light the exterior is skinned with heavy rough hewn wood and steel.  If you want a house with a low maintenance exterior this modernist cabin is bound to provide generations of easy living here in the mountains.  It has everything, but a pair of antlers hanging on the front!  The house is listed for $315,000.