January 8, 2021 § Leave a comment
From the editors: Architect Arielle Schechter has shared her latest project with us, the ‘Baboolal Residence’, which is surrounded by forest and a grassy meadow, and is located near the town of Chapel Hill in North Carolina.
Designed as a net-zero house for a family of four, the home features a unique roof shape that allows for the inclusion of solar panels. READ MORE
GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN: “Architect to Watch — Arielle Schechter on How Japan Inspires Her Design Philosophy”
December 2, 2020 § Leave a 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.” READ MORE
November 20, 2020 § Leave a comment
By J. Michael Welton
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 Haw 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 buildable knoll above the Haw, 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
September 21, 2020 § Leave a comment
This Haw Riverfront home is a secluded sanctuary nestled in untamed paradise.
Nestled along the banks of the Haw River, in stark contrast to its untamed surroundings, is Scott Zimmerman and Kate Paradis’ modern, green home [designed by Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA]. For these University of North Carolina alumni, their 21-acre piece of land is their paradise. The Propane Education & Research Council spoke to Scott about the features they love most about their “Hawsome” home and propane’s role in making their secluded sanctuary possible.
What drew you to this specific location that some might have shied away from?
You have to be there to see it. The view is unbelievable, literally, that was it. The closest neighbors are a mile away, my driveway is a mile long, you’re not here unless you’re meant to be, so there is privacy. The property is full of projects and I am retired so I have my woodworking shop, and also normal land maintenance every day. We looked for a place close to Chapel Hill that felt like it was out away from everything — rather than buying a beach house or mountain house which we’d use two or three times a year — but that was still close to town without feeling like it. We found this piece of property on the river and that’s where we are. It’s been a five-year project to get where we are now. It took 537 days to build the house, and we moved in late January before the coronavirus shutdown started. READ MORE
September 16, 2020 § Leave a comment
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 28, 2020 § Leave a comment
Greywater collection, renewable energy, and a propane generator keep this Haw River dwelling resilient and self-sustaining. Photos by Tzu Chen
When architect Arielle Condoret Schechter’s clients purchased the dazzling 21-acre strip of land that would become their home on the Haw River in North Carolina, the seller had a simple condition: He wanted them to build a home that was environmentally responsible.
The buyers granted his wish by hiring Schechter, a residential architect known for building net zero or passive houses with an ultramodern aesthetic. And his directive became the first of many ways the land would dictate Schechter’s design for the Haw River House.
“It is just spectacular out there,” Schechter says. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever had a chance to work on as far as primal beauty goes.” READ MORE
The Paradis-Zimmerman house overlooks the Haw River rapids from its perch on a rocky knoll surrounded by a forest.
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
June 25, 2020 § Leave a comment
Susan Bady, senior editor of Professional Builder and Custom Builder magazines, recently asked Arielle for a few comments about precast concrete components in residential architecture. Is she still incorporating precast in her residential projects? Why? Does she think the use of precast concrete in homebuilding will increase in the near future? Following was her response…
I like the precast concrete wall system we use because it combines customization within the prefab process. The walls are fabricated by a local company one town away and they don’t mind that I use custom window sizes and custom wall heights.
My clients love it for a lot of reasons, especially the low maintenance aspect, termite resistance, and increased fire resistance on the exterior (although usually, we have wood truss roofs, so it’s not a totally fireproof house).
My clients also love the “thrill-factor” of seeing their exterior walls go up via a crane in two days, which does translate into lower labor costs.
Yet precast concrete is a more expensive system than standard wood framing, and that may hinder its wide acceptance in the home building industry. But I think there will always be those who will want all the other benefits that prefab concrete offers. ~ Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA
AEC CAFE: “Haw River Net Zero Passive House in Chatham County, North Carolina, by Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA”
June 12, 2020 § Leave a comment
By Sanjay Gangal
The clients — an artist and an attorney — asked for a “very sustainable yet super-modern” house for their blended family, which is generously populated with children and beloved dogs. And they wanted the type of house that Arielle Condoret Schechter is known for: modern, Net Zero, Passive house-rated with clean lines and clear volumes and open, uncluttered interior spaces filled with sunlight, panoramic views, and easy access to the outdoors.
PHOTO © TZU CHEN PHOTOGRAPHY
Perched on a knoll above the Haw River rapids in Chatham County, the 2600-square-foot house was designed to be perfectly at home within its wooded site. READ MORE