The educational nonprofit archive North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH, formerly Triangle Modernist Houses) has published the 2013 winners of the George Matsumoto Prize which recognizes excellence in recent single-family Modernist residential design in North Carolina. The Matsumoto Prize includes two categories: the professional Jury’s Awards and the People’s Choice Awards, the latter of which are chosen by public voting online. The Jury Awards include three cash prizes totaling $6,000.
George Smart, NCMH Executive Director, announced the prize winners during a special event held at the AIA NC Center for Architecture & Design in Raleigh. “These winners demonstrate to the public that Modernist design can be affordable, efficient, sustainable, and most importantly, a house to love for decades,” Smart said. “We want potential homeowners to realize that, by using an architect or designer, or by buying a Modernist house on the market, they can have a great home for the same budget as an ordinary house.”
The professional jury’s First Prize went to Vinny Petrarca and Katherine Hogan of Tonic Design + Tonic Construction in Raleigh for the Rank Residence, a flat-roofed, four-story, 3200-square-foot, “Modern Gothic” house with a three-story-clear living room and 1100-square-foot, four-car garage beneath that. Located outside Pittsboro, NC, the cube is clad in concrete and metal and the windows are arranged to recall musical notes on staff lines in sheet music. Inside, in keeping with the owner’s fascination with vertical space, a network of stairs and bridges slashes overhead within a totally white, gray and black interior. The owner’s extensive art collection is displayed primarily on ledges so that he can easily change out the art whenever he wants.
Second Prize went to Erin Sterling-Lewis, AIA, and Matt Griffith, AIA, of In Situ Studios in Raleigh for the Chasen Residence, a small (1450 square feet), modern, urban house just east of downtown Raleigh. The plan confines the entries, stairs, kitchen, half bath, and upstairs hallway to one side of the house, opening the remaining space for living. The house uses numerous passive and active environmentally sustainable strategies.
Third Prize went to Chad Everhart, AIA, of Boone, NC, for the Mountain Cabin in Boone. The 650-square-foot cabin reinterprets typical log cabins found in the Appalachian Mountains. It blends vernacular elements with simple, modern design, complementing the owner’s collection of mid-century modern furniture, and it models affordable design and construction through its minimal footprint, use of indigenous materials, maximization of volume, and multi-use components.
The People’s Choice First Prize went to Michael Ross Kersting Architecture, of Wilmington for the “Dragonfly Villa.” Like its namesake, the home sits by the water's edge, its roofline making it seem to be poised to take flight. Two wings housing sleeping, cooking, eating, and bathing areas are positioned opposite one another, joined by a windowed interstitial living space from which the homeowners can enjoy a private courtyard view on one side and an expansive lake vista on the other. Systems and storage are built into thick, hollow, furniture-like walls that span the length of the structure, passing from outdoors to indoors and back out again.
The People’s Choice Second Prize went to In Situ Studios for the Chasen Residence (see above).
The Third Prize in the People’s Choice category went to Tonic Design + Tonic Construction for the Rank Residence (see above).
Now in its second year, NCMH’s George Matsumoto Prize is named for George Matsumoto, FAIA, a founding member of the NC State University School of Design faculty who is well known for the mid-century Modernist houses he designed in North Carolina. Matsumoto himself served as the jury’s Honorary Chair.
Also serving on the 2013 jury were: Frank Harmon, FAIA, (Chair) of Frank Harmon Architect PA, Raleigh; Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, of Marlon Blackwell Architect, Fayetteville, Arkansas; Tom Kundig, FAIA, of Olson Kundig Architects, Seattle, Washington; and Larry Scarpa, FAIA, of Brooks + Scarpa Architects, Los Angeles, California.