May 6, 2020 § Leave a comment
By Nichol Jewell | Photos by Tzu Chen
Chapel Hill-based firm Arielle Condoret Schechter is known for its commitment to building sustainable homes that don’t sacrifice elegance or comfort. The company’s latest work includes the spacious Haw River House, which was built with several efficient features to create a net-zero energy home that is seamlessly linked with its natural surroundings.
Tucked into a pristine woodland overlooking the Haw River, which runs through central North Carolina, the beautiful Haw River House sits in harmony with the landscape. Using this natural setting as inspiration, the 2,600-square-foot house is outfitted with several energy-efficient features that make it completely energy-neutral. READ MORE
May 6, 2020 § Leave a comment
By J. Mike Welton | Photos by Tzu Chen
For a new home on the Haw River in North Carolina’s Chatham County, architect Arielle Schechter found her inspiration in two places.
One was the river. The other was a rock.
“Walking down by the riverbank, there were so many trees cantilevered and bent out over the river, that I said: ‘I want this house to bend out over the river too,” she says.
She placed the home on the only available buildable knoll since the 21-acre site slopes steeply down to a flood plain and riparian buffer below.
As for the rock, it actually was a huge granite boulder, split down the center. “It’s super-sculptural with a thin knife-blade through the middle where rainwater flows,” she says. “The idea of bisecting something appealed to me, so I did that with the butterfly roof.”
Then there was the raptor. READ MORE
April 21, 2020 § Leave a comment
THIS COUPLE HAD A RIVERSIDE LOT WITH A DREAM VIEW AFTER FINDING A SECLUDED PIECE OF LAND THAT OVERLOOKS THE HAW RIVER
By Matt White
After selling a home in Chapel Hill in 2017, Kate Paradis and Scott Zimmerman thought about buying a vacation home…
… In 2017 the couple began working with Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter. Arielle’s final design produced a low-slung, light-filled, 2700-square-foot as unique as its views…a net zero house that could be as much off the grid as practical…
To view the entire article in the digital magazine, CLICK HERE then flip over to page 56.
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.
October 1, 2019 § Leave a comment
VIEW FROM THE KITCHEN AT THE CENTER OF THE HOUSE TO THE DINING AREA (RIGHT) AND LIVING AREA (LEFT) ON EITHER SIDE OF A TWO-WAY FIREPLACE.
The name Arielle Condoret Schechter has become synonymous in the Triangle with smart, stylish, Net Zero Passive houses whose modern horizontal forms appear as comfortable on their sites as the forests that often surround them.
Fans of this Chapel Hill architect’s work were pleased to learn that her most recently completed house — this one in Chapel Hill’s Beech Forest — will be featured on the fall “Modapalooza” Tour of modernist houses in the Triangle.
Sponsored by the non-profit organization North Carolina Modernist Houses, this fall’s “Modapalooza” will be held on Saturday, October 12, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will offer nine private homes for touring, including Schechter’s Mason-Grabell House on Mill Valley Road.
Schechter designed the 2465-square-foot house for Anne Mason and Bruce Grabell who moved to Chapel Hill from Florida. They wanted a modest and modern, environmentally sustainable, age-in-place home in a natural setting. They found the perfect property in Beech Forest.
Working with green home builder Kevin Murphy of Newphire Building Co. in Chapel Hill, Schechter designed the Mason-Grabell House to be extremely energy efficient now as it awaits a future solar array on the roof, which will take it easily to Net Zero.
Among the high-performance features Modapalooza tour-goers will see are Schechter’s favorite Passive House-rated windows and doors from Eurostar Fenestration® and the flat roof’s deep overhangs. The latter provide shade for the windows and overhead shelter for the porches and decks – the outdoor living spaces – that are key elements in all of Schechter’s residential work.
To meet the homeowners’ age-in-place goal, Schechter designed the one-story house to be “zero thresholds” from the walkway to the front door and throughout the interior: There are no steps and no tripping hazards, such as thresholds at doorways and shower curbs.
ARIELLE SCHECHTER CUSTOM DESIGNED THE BLACK WALNUT CABINETRY THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE.
On the front elevation, reminiscent of a cluster of orange Cosmos in a field of wildflowers, the house’s orange front door is a bold element within the horizontal panel siding and cypress accent wall.
On the rear elevation, a large screen porch appears to float out into the landscape. A wrap-around deck connects the porch to an outdoor grilling area.
Inside, an entire wall of the main living space is actually two massive, glass folding doors. While the house’s windows, strategically placed to avoid heat gain, provide visual access to the natural setting, the folding doors literally open the interior to the outdoors overlooking Beech Forest.
Aware that Anne Mason loves to cook, Schechter’s floorplan revolves around the kitchen — the heart of the house, both physically and metaphorically — with all other spaces having easy access to it.
And in the kitchen, as throughout the interior, Schechter custom designed all of the black walnut cabinetry. With its vivid grain and rich color, black walnut is both retro and regal and lent itself beautifully as well to the mid-century-inspired cocktail bar she created for a space beside the fireplace in the dining area.
The fall Modapalooza Tour is sold out, but NCMH founder George Smart encourages anyone interested to get his or her name on the waiting list in case there are cancellations. Click here for details.