ATOMIC RANCH: “Net Zero: No Problem”

September 16, 2020 § Leave a comment

How a North Carolina architect created a private and environmentally sustainable home for a couple to break free of traditional living.

By Lauren Hofer | Photos by Keith Isaacs

PROPANE.com: “Harsh Riverfront Site Inspires Spectacular Net Zero Home”

July 28, 2020 § Leave a comment

1.Haw River House drone view copy 2

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

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The Paradis-Zimmerman house overlooks the Haw River rapids from its perch on a rocky knoll surrounded by a forest.

ARCHITECTS + ARTISANS: “Six Winners in the Matsumoto Competition”

July 26, 2020 § Leave a comment

1.Haw River House drone view copy 2

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

 

AECCafe.com: “Haw River Net Zero Passive House in Chatham County, North Carolina by Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA”

June 11, 2020 § Leave a comment

by Sanjay Gangal | photos by Tzu Chen Photography

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.

4.Haw River_view from the river at dusk copy 2

  • Architect: Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA
  • Project: Haw River Net Zero Passive House
  • Location: Chatham County, North Carolina
  • Photography: Tzu Chen Photography
  • Owners: Kate Paradis and Scott Zimmerman
  • Completed: 2019
  • Software used: ARCHICAD by Graphisoft    READ MORE

 

Smart, Stylish, Sustainable: House in Beech Forest Featured on Fall Modapalooza Tour

October 1, 2019 § Leave a comment

Dining with view
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.

Custom cabinets1ARIELLE 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.

 

INHABITAT: “Micropolis custom net-zero home generates all its own energy”

September 7, 2018 § Leave a comment

Net Zero Net Positive North Carolina house

Through form, function, and materials choices, the house is decidedly modern and “extremely green.” (Photos by Iman Woods)

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…

DWELL.com: “The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® House”

July 15, 2018 § Leave a comment

1a.EXTERIOR

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_GrabellMASON-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 Micropolis“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.

Spa_like bath

A spa-like bath with special tile up to the ceiling is one of the homeowners’ rewards for building small. (Photo by ACS)

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 PositivePassive residential designs with what she’s dubbed the “Happy Family” house.

Privacy House

 Privacy House.png

“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.

Phasing In

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.

Works in Progress: Chapel Hill Architect Arielle Schechter, AIA, Announces Three New Residential Projects

December 12, 2017 § Leave a comment

 

 

PrivacyForTwo.png

RENDERING: PRIVACY FOR TWO

December 11, 2017 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, Architect, a full-service architecture firm based in Chapel Hill, NC, has announced three new residential projects, each with remarkably different aspirations.

Big House for a Big Family: Arielle Schechter, principal and founder, describes one of her newest clients as a “big, loving, blended family with kids and more kids on the way.” The family needs a generously sized modern house “for the rest of their lives,” she said, with plenty of space for the family as it is today and as it will be in the future as it expands with spouses and grandchildren.

One response will be a huge playroom to allow for ping pong, pool, and foosball “at any hour of the day or night.” The playroom will connect directly to the house and to the outdoors, allowing access to a future swimming pool. “This house is all about togetherness and family fun,” Schechter noted.

Privacy for Two: A husband and wife anxious to escape what they call a “soul-deadening” cookie-cutter residential development, have hired Schechter to plan and design a very private new home that will let them “just disappear into the woods,” she said. The “woods” she refers to are in Chatham County.

According to the architect, they are a modest couple and want a modern but simple, unpretentious, age-in-place design that let them live out their lives together in peace, away from the restrictions of a housing development.

One of Schechter’s inspirations was her clients’ request for “a sheltered place to sit outside and watch the rain.” In response, she has designed a deeply cantilevered roof where they can sit outside and enjoy the rain without getting wet.

A Doctor in the House: Schechter’s third new project is a modern residence for a doctor who teaches and practices at Duke University, his wife, and their son. The family moved to Durham from New York City. Their primary objective is a family home for three that maintains the parents’ connection to their young son.

One design decision directly related to that concept: a second-floor bridge that “floats” over an open, double-height living room. The bridge connects the master suite to their son’s suite, both of which are on the second floor. The lower level will feature the public spaces – living, dining, kitchen areas — and guest rooms that can double as an office or den.

For more information on Arielle Schechter and to see her built work as well as other “On The Boards” projects, visit www.acsarchitect.com.

 

BEST CONSTRUCTIONS.com: “Haiman El Troudi Douwara recommends: Empty Nest House Designed For A Retired Professor In Chapel Hill, NC”

November 1, 2017 § Leave a comment

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