Architect Arielle Schechter and Her Clients Introduce Modern, Minimal, Sustainable Design to Lake Orange Community.
June 14, 2021 § Leave a comment
Press Release: June 14, 2021 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Across the east fork of the Eno River in Orange County, six miles north of downtown Hillsborough, Lake Orange has attracted well-heeled homeowners to its shores for years, many of whom have built their very large, very traditional dream homes there. Many hardwoods and evergreen trees have disappeared in their wake.
Now another new home has appeared along the lake’s shore, nestled among the lofty trees, that is the antithesis of those houses. Designed by Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, the Wolf-Huang house (above) has introduced modern, sensibly sized, and environmentally sustainable living to the Lake Orange neighborhood. Inside (below), it is the essence of minimal, reductive design — simple and serene.
Most of Schechter’s residential clients value light, livability, energy conservation, and spaces tailor-made for their lifestyles over ostentation and grandiose square footage. These homeowners are no different. In fact, the lake itself was fundamental to the conception of the 2677-square-foot Wolf-Huang house — views of the lake and sunsets over the lake, as well as the breezes that glide across the water.
To that end, she oriented the house on the site to face the lake and used large sliding-glass doors and windows to provide views and welcome the breezes in spring and fall. Windows on the street-facing elevation along with the house’s slim footprint facilitate cross ventilation. Clerestories in a roof segment above the main roofline — where a solar array is located — contribute more natural light to the crisp, all-white interior. Deep roof overhangs shade glass doors and windows from the high summer sun.
For the Wolf-Huang’s exterior, Schechter says she was Inspired by her love of Amsterdam’s colorful houseboats moored along canal banks — simultaneously luxurious and cozy. She’s made several architectural trips to Amsterdam to visit them. As a result:
“I think the Wolf-Huang Lake House feels as if it could be launched right into the Lake to float along the banks,” she says, smiling. “We hope our clients feel as if they’re on vacation all the time, except without crowded flights and long lines!”
BuildSense custom home builders in Durham served as general contractor for this project.
PHOTOS BY TZU CHEN
June 9, 2021 § Leave a comment
AMAZING ARCHITECTURE.com: “Baboolal Residence in Chapel Hill, United States, designed by Arielle Condoret Schechter, Architect, PLLC, AIA”
by Naser Nader Ibrahim
The Baboolal residence is a net zero house is for a multicultural family of four. The husband is Indian originally from South Africa and the wife is American. They are both in high stress professions: he is a pediatric anesthesiologist and she is a pediatric nurse. They have two small children and pets.
The impetus for building this house was their previous frustration with living in a cookie cutter developer house with a lot of wasted space and illogical planning.
They decided to build a custom house that would give them openness for family time, while also creating privacy and quiet areas for the parents to rest between shifts and for the kids to have their own spaces. Also, an immediate connection between indoor and outdoor space was part of the brief. READ MORE…
May 19, 2021 § Leave a comment
The Breeze House is a 900-square-foot, custom Micropolis House® designed for a very tight infill lot only a couple of miles from downtown Chapel Hill. The lot is steep so the building pad will sit on a small knoll, elevated above the adjacent street.
Arielle and her clients walked the site last summer during the heat wave and were amazed, she said, that it felt at least 10 degrees cooler up on the knoll than on the surrounding properties.
“That’s due to the prevailing breezes from the south and southwest,” she explained, then smiled. “Discovering that was nothing less than magic.” Hence the name “Breeze House.”
Despite its diminutive size, the house will feel spacious thanks to the flood of ,natural light. And operable windows will ensure that the prevailing breezes are harnessed to flush hot air out whenever the owners feel the need.
Another perk: “Smaller houses mean you can put your money into some special ‘goodies’,” Arielle noted. “The Breeze House’s ‘goodies’ will include a gourmet kitchen, orchid shelves, a small courtyard for cafe-style dining, and an outdoor patio for entertaining.”
Arielle’s client for the Rougemont Farmstead house is a transplant from Northern California who decided to move east and settle in central North Carolina. He found a large piece of farmland bordered by a creek — the perfect site for starting the farmstead he envisioned. Eventually, a new barn will become home to “Duke,” his beautiful horse.
Arielle’s design was inspired by the groupings of small outbuildings found on vernacular farms all over the North Carolina. For the new house on this farmstead, however, the feel, form, and space will be decidedly modern, filled with natural light. A screen porch will offer a panoramic view of the fields around it.
“And with its perfect southern exposure,” she added, “the roof will support a small solar array.”
Click here to see more renderings of Rougemont Farmstead.
May 19, 2021 § Leave a comment
When these homeowners’ approached Arielle, they had grown tired of living with little privacy in their old neighborhood. They also wanted an exciting, “dramatic” interior.
The site they chose accommodates their desire for privacy while high ceilings and extensive glass will deliver plenty of internal drama in their new modern home.
Another imperative was a clear connection between indoors and outdoors. Arielle’s design provides that relationship through a massive curtain wall (floor-to-ceiling window) in the living room, a screen porch, a generously sized deck, and even a hot tub deck on a lower level.
Another feature the homeowners will enjoy will be the main bath — “a spa and a retreat from the stress of the world,” Arielle said, adding, “We love designing special bathrooms that enhance our clients’ quality of life and enjoyment of their house.”
To see more renderings of the Lerner-Campbell Residence, click here.
April 5, 2021 § Leave a comment
Arielle Condoret Schechter, Architect
440 Bayberry Dr., Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Arielle Schechter, a registered architect recognized by the A.I.A., has made a name for herself in the Triangle area for her nationally recognized custom houses, Micropolis micro-houses, and mid century renovations. She is currently based in Chapel Hill. For over 26 years, she has specialized in warm, energy-efficient, and modernist residential architecture, including cutting-edge Net-Zero design and passive house construction… READ MORE
March 1, 2021 § Leave a comment
Chapel Hill-based architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, recently learned that she has received two Best of Houzz Awards for 2021 — one for Design, the other for Client Service — adding to the four Best of Houzz Awards she’s received since 2016.
Houzz is a leading platform for home design and remodeling. Over 40 million unique monthly users comprise the Houzz community. The awards recognize just three percent of the 2.5 million active home professionals represented on the website.
Houzz presents its annual awards in three categories: Design, Customer Service, and Photography. The Design Awards honor professionals whose portfolios are the most popular among the Houzz community. (Follow this link to view Arielle’s Houzz portfolio.)
Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including a professional’s overall rating on Houzz and client reviews submitted in the previous year. Since she joined the platform in 2016, Arielle has maintained a “5 out of 5” rating for “Work Quality,” “Communication,” and “Value,” and she continues to accrue glowing reviews from her clients.
“I’m honored to receive both awards this year,” she said. “And I’m so grateful to all of my wonderful clients who took the time to write those kind reviews. No matter what they wrote, the pleasure was truly mine.”
Matsumoto Prize: The Paradis-Zimmerman house earns second place in the coveted Jury Awards category.
July 29, 2020 § Leave a comment
THE HOUSE APPEARS TO PERCH ON THE ROCKY KNOLL ABOVE THE RIVER (PHOTOS BY TZU CHEN)
The modern, Net Zero house that Chapel Hill, NC, architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, designed for Kate Paradis and Scott Zimmerman received a high honor last week. Perched on a rocky knoll overlooking the Haw River rapids in Chatham County, the house received Second Place in the prestigious Jury Awards category during the 2020 George Matsumoto Prize, which recognizes excellence in modernist residential design.
NC Modernist, an award-winning non-profit educational organization, created the Matsumoto Prize in 2012 to honor modernist architect George Matsumoto, FAIA, one of the founding faculty members of North Carolina State University’s College of Design.
According to NC Modernist executive director George Smart, the 2020 jury members “seemed to agree at the outset” that the 2600-square-foot “Haw River House would be one of the three winners out of the 21 submissions.
“This is one of the houses I’m most proud of in my career so far,” Schechter said after the awards were presented in a virtual ceremony online. “I grew up on a river, New Hope Creek, which haunts me to this day. I hope I can work on other river-fronting houses because I feel tied to them.”
“…LIKE A LANTERN IN THE FOREST.”
Arielle Schechter is known for giving her clients distinctly modern, environmentally sustainable houses that create as much or more energy than they use – i.e., Net Zero. The Haw River House is one of those. Like the others, it also reflects its place — in this case, a harsh, remote, yet beautiful setting surrounded by a forest. Cantilevered decks and porches echo the angles of old trees that grow out over the water from the rocky riverbank. The butterfly roof references a huge, cleft boulder on the property that acts as a natural trough for rainwater.
The owners’ desire to enjoy constant, panoramic views of the rapids resulted in the floorplan’s clear orientation towards the river, the extensive glazing on the river-facing side, and those porches and decks that extend the interior living spaces outdoors.
“At night, the house glows like a lantern in the forest,” Schechter notes in the video she produced for the competition.
For more information on Arielle Condoret Schechter and this award-winning residence, visit acsarchitect.com.
About the Matsumoto Prize and the 2020 Jury
The Matsumoto Prize focuses on the houses rather than the designers. Therefore, any residential designer — registered architect or not — may submit a modernist house he or she has designed as long as the house is located in North Carolina. For more information: ncmodernist.org/matsumotoprize.
Each year, a carefully selected jury of professionals determines the top three winners of the Jury Awards while a People’s Choice component invites public voting. This year’s jury included architects Toshiko Mori, FAIA, of New York; Barbara Bestor, FAIA, of Los Angeles; Stella Betts, New York; Annabelle Selldorf, FAIA, New York; Hugh Kaptur, FAIA, Palm Springs, CA; Harry Wolf, FAIA, Los Angeles; and California architect/author/historian Alan Hess.
July 26, 2020 § Leave a comment
By Micheal Welton (Photo by Tzu Chen)
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer place.
The top two winners in the 2020 Matsumoto Prize competition – for both juried and people’s choice awards – are sited on one of Carolina’s most sought-after beaches…
…Second place in the juried competition went to Arielle C. Schechter’s Haw River House. “‘It’s just enough house for the site,’ was one of the comments,” he says. Third place went to Haymond House, by Tonic Design’s Vinny Petrarca and Katherine Hogan… READ MORE
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN – Architect To Watch series: “Arielle Schechter on How Japan Inspires Her Design Philosophy”
June 6, 2020 § 1 Comment
This architect builds for the North Carolina climate and for clients who crave sustainability.
By Jessica Mordaco
Light is the most important factor in architect Arielle Schechter’s design philosophy. Much of her design inspiration comes from Japanese architects who use screens and overhangs to block the sun while creating a seamless translucence from outdoors to indoors—that, and modernist design that connects inside spaces to nature. Schechter became interested in her craft at a young age, growing up with a famous mid-century architect as a father. “I always thought I’d work for him but, when he died, I had a lot of things I wanted to say in architecture,” she says. “I totally believe there’s no point in designing anything, much less a green building unless you’re going to make it wonderful for the people who live in it, too.”
“I really don’t care how much money I make. I just want to get people to stop buying cookie-cutter, badly built developer houses that don’t have an architect involved because they’re inefficient.” ~ Arielle Schechter
April 14, 2020 § Leave a comment
“There is absolutely no reason to design otherwise.”
— Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA
Two houses on the virtual High-Performance Homes Tour (formerly Green Home Tour) that will go live Friday, April 24th at highperformancehometour.com, actually exemplify the tour’s new title. Both houses were custom designed by Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA. Both were built by green home builder Kevin Murphy of Newphire Building, also in Chapel Hill. And both are Net Zero houses.
Within durable, functional, cost-effective structures with neutral carbon footprints, these two houses produce as much energy as they need without depleting natural resources – the definition of high-performance.
“My ideal residential client,” Schechter says, “is anyone who wants a warm, comfortable, and practical Modern, energy-efficient sustainable home with lots of natural light and connections to the outdoors, clean lines, clear volumes, and open plans. Site sensitivity and energy efficiency are imperative, by the way. There is absolutely no reason to design otherwise.”
Murphy agrees. “I’m passionate about building beautiful, comfortable, high-performance homes that can achieve Net Zero energy status,” he says. “That’s why Arielle and I work so well together. We share that goal.”
The 5000-square-foot Coy-Davis “Homestead” (above) is the first Schechter-Newphire house on the tour. Schechter designed this Net Zero home for Dr. Deron Coy and Erica Davis to accommodate their blended family and future children and for a place for their extended family to congregate for holidays and vacations. It offers space for togetherness and space for privacy. The three upstairs bedrooms have their own bay windows cantilevered out towards the forest. Among its many sustainable features are a geothermal HVAC system, a solar array with battery storage, and super-insulation.
The second Schechter-Newphire virtual tour stop is the Dori Baboolal and Dr. Hemanth Baboolal residence. “Dori and Hemanth are part of Chapel Hill’s distinguished medical community,” Schechter notes. “The cookie-cutter house they’ve been living in is illogical for their growing family and doesn’t provide the strong connection to the outdoors that they long for. So they decided to build a custom-designed, distinctly modern, Net Zero house that would make sense for their family, with every space useful and every element suited to their family and lifestyle. We were honored to be asked to create such a house for them. And a key influence on the design: bringing the outdoors in and extending the interior living spaces out onto terraces, porches, and decks.”
Sponsored by the High-Performance Building Council, a joint council of the Home Builders Associations (HBAs) of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties and of Raleigh-Wake County, the virtual tour is free and available on April 25-26 and May 2-3 at www.highperformancehometour.com or by downloading the app in the App Store or Google Play.
The virtual tours of all 14 houses on the roster will include photos, floorplans, links to 3D video tours, and lists of green features.