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Chapel Hill and Carrboro Homes win national design awards

Two homes, one in Chatham County and another in Carrboro, recently received national recognition for their modernist designs.

NC Modernist, a Durham-based non-profit organization and website, named ThoughtCraft Architects’ Domeck Residence design the first place winner of the George Matsumoto Prize. The annual judges’ award is the highest honor for modernist residential architecture and is named after a founding faculty member at North Carolina State College of Design.

The Domeck home, which has an address at Chapel Hill in Chatham County, is divided into four pavilions on one level. Separating bedroom, living, car/storage, and recreation space into different buildings is designed to help owners move throughout the home throughout their day. The site also features small landscaped courtyards between each pavilion, an entrance courtyard garden and a pool deck adjacent to two of the pavilions.

In a video about the design, the architects describe the effort as “a celebration of routine movement, an awareness of the slow passage of time, and the provision of zen moments.”

“The award carries great prestige with its distinguished jury and pedigree and we are thrilled to win it,” Jason Hart, founding partner of ThoughtCraft Architects, told Chapelboro. “We strive for each home to be unique and fit the lifestyle of the owner. A lot went in Choreographing the experience of daily routines with natural daylight and the beautiful views of the property. It’s nice that everyone involved gets some recognition.”

Meanwhile, a home in Orange County has also received recognition. “Hillside House”, where aArchitect Doug Pierson and designer Youn Choi live together with their two children on Old Pittsboro Road, won third place in the Jury Prize. Pierson and Choi run Chapel Hill-based Pod Architecture + Design, have lived in Orange County for six years, and completed construction of the distinctive three-story home in early 2022.

In a video contribution for the award, Pierson describes the rows of houses as winding down a steep hill and “fitting into the context” of the surrounding neighborhood by being removed from the street. Partially built into the hillside, the building flows from sleeping areas at the top to workspaces in the middle and living spaces below. Pierson and Choi’s submission describes the narrow form of this floorplan as “visible connectivity across the length and height of the home to facilitate communication” while providing privacy.

Youn Choi and Doug Pierson pose with their 2022 George Matsumoto Prize. (Photo via BluePlatePR.)

According to NC Modernist, the house was characterized by its “symbiosis between architecture and land”. It’s also built to be more eco-friendly in a number of ways. pod architecture + design says with its “Thermal Mass Slab Foundation and Walls” that internal temperatures remain warmer in the evening and cooler during the day. Placing the home in the hill also helps keep temperatures cooler or warmer, which helps reduce energy needs. Additional details in the walls, roof and glass also reduce energy consumption.

The 2022 George Matsumoto Prize Competition was held by Leland Little Auctions in Hillsborough on July 28th.

More photos of the Domeck Residence can be found on the ThoughtCraft website, while photos of the Hillside House can be found on the Pod Architecture + Design website.

Featured photo by Mark Herboth Photography.

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