Tag Archives: north carolina

George Matsumoto Prize for Modern Home Design

CALL FOR ENTRIES | Yeah! It is that time of year again. Submissions are open for the 2018 George Matsumoto Prize by NC Modernist Houses organization. Every year we have some great award-winning homes in the Asheville area. Here are two from last year and here are past articles on the event if you aren’t familiar.

The Prize is open to anyone with primary design responsibility for a completely built, from-the-ground-up, single-family Modernist house of at least 800 heated sf with a CO on or after January 1, 2013. The house must be in North Carolina; the designer/architect can be from anywhere. Want to enter? Go HERE.

Architect Spotlight | Harvey Gantt

From out friends at North Carolina Modernist Houses enjoy this read about architect Harvey Gantt {and his work} who was recently awarded North Carolina AIA’s Gold Medal honoring his work in the Charlotte area and contribution to our state. Cheers!

Modern Monday

unnamed-2The NCMH Modern Coast Tour | Join George Smart and his crew on SaturdaySunday April 22-23 | Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach NC. Enjoy a great springtime weekend touring some amazing new and mid-century Modernist houses at the beautiful NC coast — without the hassle of driving!  Includes the delightful company of fellow Modernist architecture fans, plus all your meals, hotel, snacks, drinks, and free wifi in our luxury restroom-equipped, air-conditioned bus.  Featuring Modernist houses designed by Scott Ogden, Kevin Pfirman, Oxenfeld/Newkirk, Michael Moorefield, John Parker, Ballard McKim and Sawyer, and Michael Ross KerstingDetails and tickets

Sunday Morning Modern

Columbus MainPreserving a Design-Centric Community | I know I have previously written about my small hometown of Columbus Indiana, however, a new article by from the American Institute of Architects caused me to reflect on it more this weekend. Growing up I don’t think I recognized the town’s uniqueness as I was simply trying to be a kid fitting in like any other kid. A recent article regarding Columbus led me to reflect back and I remembered a black and white crayon drawing I created in 3rd grade.Columbus Comp It looks like a typical child’s drawing, but then I thought about it further. The drawing is of a Harry Weese designed church that stood on the hill across from my Edward Larrabe Barnes designed elementary school.Col 03

That drawing was then framed and hung in our county library designed by I.M.Pei next to the Henry Moore sculpture I used to bang my little hands on to create the hollow sound of the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz. The sculpture was centered in a brick plaza across from the North Christian Church designed by Eliel Saarinen. Clearly, my childhood was not so typical and perhaps I was being subtly brainwashed in the community’s design-centric spirit. I truly can’t recall ever thinking about design, but clean architectural lines in austere landscapes definitely feel at home to me.  Col 02

The article by the American Institute of Architects recognizes Columbus as one of the most celebrated concentrations of mid-century architecture in the country. While it gets into details about the future challenges of physical preservation of their buildings it speaks to preserving a community philosophy around good design — The other thing that needs to be preserved is this intangible thing—a community that wants good design. The idea that needs to be preserved is the value of making good things. — which is something many of us feel is important for our own community of Asheville.cdnassets.hw-2

Whether a Columbus type of philosophy can be applied here remains to be seen, but it is worth considering something of our very own beyond the past and for our future. In the meantime you can red the full article here. Enjoy your Sunday. Cheers!

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.”

AIA Lecture | Architect Jim Fox

12039387_877536468990494_892162400863720126_nAIA Asheville’s CRAN Committee presents, a free residential design lecture! Contemporary architecture of Jim Fox. For architects, builders, homeowners, all welcome. It’s Free! For more on Jim Fox go here.
Thursday, October 8 at 5:30pm
Lord Auditorium at the Pack Library in downtown Asheville

2015 Matsumoto Prize | Asheville Award Winner

IMG_1849_2Kelly and I drove to Raleigh yesterday afternoon for our yearly trek to NC Modernist Houses residential architectural awards event. Last year, out of six state prizes given, we had two local winners. We accepted the award for Maria Rusafova’s Blue House here in the Five Points neighborhood of Asheville while she travels the globe.21 St Charles Pl Asheville NC-small-002-Front-666x443-72dpi

This year local designer David Way of Roost was voted 2nd Place in the People’s Choice Awards for his 5th Peregrine home in Lakeview Park. {Yeah!} If you don’t recall the details of the home take the tour here. The 2000 sqft, one level home has an equal amount of outdoor living space to maximize your Asheville living experience. Congrats to David and the Erbs for their second award on this cool, modern home!

Thanks George and team for putting this event together. Architects and Builders — let’s get some more entries in next year and showcase our great talent here in Asheville. Kelly and I may just hire a bus to take us all there!


NC Modernist Houses | 2015 George Matsumoto Awards

screen-shot-2015-02-20-at-12-45-12-pmHi Folks. It is time for the yearly prize awards for modern homes in North Carolina. For those interested, the social and award ceremony will be this Thursday night, July 23rd from 6 to 8pm at McConnell Studios, 324 Dupont Circle, Raleigh. The evening will feature great art, music, coffee, beer, and Modernist Musical Chairs. For more on the awards go here. Cheers!

VOTE | 2015 NCMH Matsumoto Competition

ncmhlogoHi Folks! North Carolina Modernist Houses has released the entries for this year’s Matsumoto Prize. Locally, there are two homes [shown below]: Katie’s Ridge by Retro Fit Design and Peregrine #6 by Roost. However you decide enjoy browsing the entries shown here and vote!Mats Comp

NC Modernist Houses | the George Matsumoto Prize

Hi Folks. Check out the entries for this year’s Matsumoto prize. Asheville has one local architect entered this year and two homes. To view all the entries and vote for your favorite click here. Cheers! TroyMatsu

The George Matsumoto Prize is a unique design competition focusing on Modernist houses in North Carolina and featuring $6,000 in awards, a blue-ribbon jury of internationally-known award-winning architects, and an online People’s Choice vote. In 2012, NCMH created the Matsumoto Prize in honor of George Matsumoto FAIA. Matsumoto was one of the founding faculty members of the NCSU School of Design who created some of North Carolina’s most well-known and well-loved Modernist houses.

The Matsumoto Prize powerfully engages the public in the value of architecture and demonstrates the unique talent of exceptional Modernist architects and designers in North Carolina.

The Modern Frontier of Leicester

Yesterday, I walked around in the drizzle with friend and local architect Brandon Pass at his latest project under construction — way, way out in Leicester — where soft, gentle pastures brush up against steep, rugged hills. It’s been a long year since we last connected and I remembered our past conversation like it was yesterday. I had contacted him after browsing his website and came across the “Leicester House”. There were only a couple of 1204-Perspective Southeast cornerrough renderings at the time, but I was caught the quiet, modern aesthetic that seemed well matched with the rustic context.

Brandon’s clients live out there on 70 acres (and several mules) of beautiful farm land in Sandy Mush. They are charging their land to raise flowers in the dramatic rural landscape. The lower level of the house will be a functional, IMG_0014shed for their flower business and open to the fields below. The upper level will be a modern and flowing living space that captures specific views of both natural and manmade features in the landscape. The house will be anchored by a concrete, passive solar core.

In spirit, both the client and Brandon were struck by the existing, domestic and functional vernacular distinct to this site and locality. It was a jumping off point for the architectural inspiration for both building form and materials. Leicester Comp

Once Brandon had locked down the plan and construction drawings the clients and their friends took over creating a natural, organic process where various  crafts people and found materials began to further influence and embellish the outcome. Brandon had to generously let go of Material Compcontrol and let the hands-on spirit of the clients take over in building their home on the new frontier. The result will be an obvious, modern construction, but with earthy, regionally materials that will weather to blend in with the rural structures of this specific site. It is a marriage of sophisticated design thought blending with the pioneering spirit of our Asheville mountain community. It’s an evolving process that is still being hammered out today.

Thank you for the tour Brandon. Next time — beer!


Greensboro and Guilford County Modern Tour

I wanted to help spread the word about the MODERNIST HOUSE TOUR & SYMPOSIUM in Greensboro on 10-13 October.  There will be  free lectures by Sandy Isenstadt, Cynthia de Miranda, Sally Warther, and my friend Patrick Lee Lucas, a couple of special events on Friday and a weekend symposium. I know everyone will learn something about Modernism in Greensboro and North Carolina as a result.

loew_tourinvite 21aug13

On Saturday (10am-4pm) and Sunday (1-4pm), tours will be offered of nine Modernist houses in Greensboro and Guilford County. A number of them were designed by Edward Loewenstein…but Modernism doesn’t stop there in Greensboro as the tour includes houses by Gerard Gray, the builder J. Hiatt, and Pittsburgh-based architect Sylvester Damianos.  We hope you might make your way to the Gate City for this special weekend.  Read more about the tour and the houses featured online.

Tickets available online:  http://blandwood.org/tour