Propane.com: A Q&A with the homeowners

September 21, 2020 § Leave a comment

Photo by Tzu Chen

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

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

4.Haw River_view from the river at dusk copy 2

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

 

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.

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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

 

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

 

GREEN BUILDING & DESIGN – Architect To Watch series: “Arielle Schechter on How Japan Inspires Her Design Philosophy”

June 6, 2020 § 1 Comment

ACS by her fireplace_cropped

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.”

“I really don’t care how much money I make. I just want to get people to stop buying cookie-cutter, badly built developer houses that don’t have an architect involved because they’re inefficient.” ~ Arielle Schechter

READ MORE…

INHABITAT: “Modern net-zero home sits in harmony with its woodland surroundings.”

May 6, 2020 § Leave a comment

 

4.Haw River_view from the river at dusk copy 2

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

ARCHITECTS + ARTISANS: “A Hawk’s-Eye View from a Haw River Home”

May 6, 2020 § Leave a comment

1.Haw River House drone view copy 2

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

 

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.

 

Under Construction

November 1, 2018 § 1 Comment

Front with Veil

On the front of the house, a “veil” of cypress slats softens its presence within the wooded setting.


The couple was determined to escape the traditional, “soul-deadening” (their words) development where they lived. So when they met with Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, they told her they were ready for a very private, secluded setting in the woods and a simple, modern, age-in-place house with every square foot custom-designed for their lifestyle rather than “the community’s.”

“We want a house just for the two of us,” they said. “We don’t want to socialize. We want to be left alone to enjoy our life.”

They also wanted the house to be Net Zero — using only as much energy as it produces by renewable methods — and knew Schechter specializes in modern Net Zero/Net Positive residential design. Another special request: Their new home must include a protected place where they can “sit outside and watch the rain.”

The house they described is nearing completion now on a secluded site in Chatham County. It’s a simple, compact house for two, plus a small bedroom for the homeowners’ son when he visits. The simple form, elevated where necessary to follow the natural contours of the land, is composed of three rectilinear volumes. Each volume is defined by its individual flat roof. Roof overhangs around the entire house protect the windows and the large expanses of glass that provide constant visual contact with the natural wooded setting.

Rear with colorOn the southern elevation, the house “is free to burst forth with colors and light.”


At the front of the house facing the approaching road, Schechter created a “veil” of cypress slats that soften its presence within the wooded setting. She limited glazing to two horizontal windows tucked up under the roof’s broad overhang.

For the completely private southern elevation, however, the house “is free to burst forth with colors and light,” she explained. The blocks of primary colors there are also architectural elements, recalling the Netherlands-based De Stijl movement of the mid-1900s. De Stijl devotees believed that harmony and order could only be achieved by reducing elements to pure geometric forms and primary colors – a very fitting idea for this house, she believes.

At the central volume is a large, deeply cantilevered roof that reaches out to the south. It shades walls of glass there and provides shelter for a very private back porch where husband and wife will be able to “sit outside and watch the rain.”

Towards achieving Net Zero, Schechter oriented the house to maximize solar gain, natural light, and natural ventilation (the latter when weather permits). She is also combining a small solar array on the roof with an over-abundance of insulation, sealed air gaps, an Energy Recovery Ventilator, cement board exterior cladding, windows, and doors certified for passive house construction, and the roof overhangs – all to assure that the house will produce as much energy as it needs.

Inside, zero thresholds, curb-free showers, and oversized doorways will be part of what will make this an age-in-place home.

A Modern Cabin Grows in Orange CountyModern Cabin Rendering


Also under construction now in central Orange County is the “Modern Cabin” Schechter has designed for a couple from San Francisco (rendering above).

Schechter has created a variety of spaces for the cabin suited to different moods, types of gathering, and connectivity.  A lofty living/dining space will connect on the second floor to a balcony for the upstairs bedrooms. The balcony will provide visual and social connection to the lower level.

The kitchen is also connected to the main space but tucked under the second floor on the north. Bright red tiles will give the kitchen visual warmth and energy, making it an inviting space for cooking and gathering.

The living/dining area, master bedroom, and office/study will have south-facing windows for natural light and views of the woods.

“My firm treasures southern lighting,” Schechter noted. “So we always give interior spaces as much natural light from the south as possible.

Newphire Building is the contractor for the cabin.

For more information on these are other houses by Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, visit www.arcarchitect.com

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