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.
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
September 7, 2018 § Leave a comment
By Lucy Wang
When Cheryl and Ken Serdar saw one of the homes belonging to Micropolis®, a collection of sustainable and contemporary house plans designed by architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, they knew they wanted a custom home based on the original 950-square-foot “Happy Family” plan. Taking into account the couple’s needs for extra space, Schechter designed a 2,222-square-foot dwelling that also offered all of the sustainable and modern design features defined in her Micropolis® line. Located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, the custom net-zero home is the most energy-efficient residence that the architect has designed to date. READ MORE…
July 15, 2018 § Leave a comment
This modern, Net Zero-Net Positive house is a customized version of one of architect Arielle Condoret Schechter’s Micropolis® houses — a collection of small, modern, sustainable house plans she continues to design that can be purchased outright or customized to accommodate specific needs.
Her clients, Cheryl and Ken Serdar, loved the original 950-square-foot plan but needed a bit more space. So Schechter enlarged it to 2222 heated square feet to include a spacious, spa-like bathroom and a third bedroom that Cheryl could use for her office and jewelry-making studio.
Originally from Texas, the Serdars were very clear about what they wanted. They told Schechter that they wanted their new home in the Piedmont region of North Carolina to be “very modern, extremely green, and almost industrial.” … READ MORE
In the Ground and On the Boards: Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, Greets Spring with Modern, Custom Houses at Every Phase of Design and Construction
May 1, 2018 § Leave a comment
MASON-GRABELL MODERNISM (All renderings by Arielle Schechter)
A family of transplants from hurricane-prone Florida can’t wait for construction to begin this summer on their spacious, modern house perched on a hillside in Orange County. Cheryl and Ken Serdar are showing off their new, modern, Net Zero, Micropolis® house in Hillsborough, NC, during the 2018 Green Home Tour. And a husband and wife in Chatham County are anxious to “break free” of the “soul-deadening” confines of a cookie-cutter residential development, so they’re counting the days until they can move into their new, modern, Net Zero house also nearing completion in Chatham County.
Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, a Net Zero/Net Positive Passive House expert*, designed all three houses.
Meanwhile back in her studio, Schechter is moving along with six more projects that span the first three phases of architectural design: schematic design, design development, and construction documentation.
Mason-Grabell Modernism (pictured at top)
Construction is scheduled to begin this summer on the spacious Mason-Grabell house. The family grew tired of fighting hurricanes down in Florida so they relocated to Chapel Hill, NC, where hurricanes are extremely rare.
Rising from a hillside with large expanses of glass on all sides, the Mason-Grabel house features flat, cascading roofs that crown specific interior spaces. Designed to touch the ground lightly and protect the site’s natural hydrology, “Mason-Grabell Modernism” will be one of very few modernist houses in its neighborhood.
Net Zero on Tour
“HAPPY FAMILY” (photo by Iman Woods)
Schechter always stresses that a smaller house allows homeowners to invest their money in elements other than square footage. In the Serdars’ house (above), that other element is a luxurious, spa-like bathroom with a curb-less walk-in shower for two, a custom cast-concrete trough sink, and a vanity area where top-quality tile rises up the high walls to the ceiling.
Otherwise, the Serdars’ relatively small house is deceptive. It appears to be a simple modern house with large, honey-hued wood soffits adding warmth and textural contrast to the precast custom concrete exterior walls. But this is a Net Zero passive house. And the design skills, technological and materials knowledge, and attention to details necessary to create such a high-performance house are anything but “simple.”
*Schechter welcomes the challenge, however, as she continues to add to her growing portfolio of certified Net Zero and Net Positive, Passive residential designs with what she’s dubbed the “Happy Family” house.
“They consider themselves ‘escapees’ from a rigid, traditional development to a lot in the woods,” Schechter said, referring to her clients who are moving out of a traditional development and into this secluded, Net Zero house (above) in the forest in Chatham County. (She noted that “breaking free” and “soul-deadening” are her clients’ words.)
Besides the huge emphasis on privacy, the couple told their architect that they wanted a “modern but simple, unpretentious, age-in-place design.” And they had one specific request. “A sheltered place to sit outside and watch the rain,” Schechter said as she pointed out the house’s deeply cantilevered roof.
Concurrently, Arielle Schechter is working through the schematic design phase for a house for two engineers in Harnett County. She’s also fine-tuning three houses in design development and shepherding two other houses through the construction documentation phase.
For more information on Arielle Condoret Schechter and to see additional examples of her built and on-the-boards work, visit www.acsarchitect.com.
June 27, 2016 § Leave a comment
November 10, 2015 § Leave a comment
September 7, 2015 § Leave a comment
INHABITAT.com: “Net-zero Happy Meadows Courtyard House is a perfectly passive residence in North Carolina”
June 27, 2015 § Leave a comment
Happy Meadows Courtyard House is a modern, age-in-place, net zero passive house designed by Chapel Hill, NC, architect Arielle Condoret Schechter. Constructed primarily of 5500 psi concrete, the 2300-square-foot one-story house is nestled on a hill in a forest clearing overlooking a natural meadow. Its low, modest profile respects the setting while honoring the homeowners’ modernist sensibilities, while a solar array, daylighting, rainwater catchment, reclaimed materials, pre-fab construction and careful placement on the plot maximize the home’s sustainability. READ MORE…