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
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.
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