August 15, 2012 (Raleigh, NC) – A house designed by Vinny Petrarca of the design/build firm Tonic Design + Tonic Construction in Raleigh received one of only three coveted Jury Awards during the inaugural George Matsumoto Prize for modernist residential design, sponsored by Triangle Modernist Houses.
Tonic’s “GREENville House,” the firm’s name for the home of Bobby and Kristi Walters of Greenville, NC, placed third in the competition, which was open to architects anywhere in the world as long as the house submitted was located in North Carolina.
The 4100-square-foot residence is composed of two primary design components — bars and panels — that act together in an environmentally sensitive structure. Narrow bars composed of private spaces branch out into the landscape to form courtyards, capture natural light, and maximize cross ventilation. The bars intersect to frame a central volume of double-height public space.
The house’s structural system holds photovoltaic panels that provide the home’s energy and hot water. Perforated screens shading the opening to alleviate unnecessary heat gain. The house’s orientation on the site utilizes the maximum potential of the photovoltaic technology, decreasing the overall load on the geothermal HVAC system. A drip-irrigation system outside captures rainwater and stores it in an underground cistern. Materials include steel, masonry, glass, concrete, Western Red Cedar, and zinc siding.
An Energy Star house, the Walters’ home was the first modern residence in the state to achieve LEED Silver accreditation.
The jury, comprised solely of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, called the Walters’ house “a large and ambitious house with many materials and details. Well proportioned and vigorous, the house displays an uncommon passion for architecture. The materials and forms are stitched together like a beautiful quilt.”
The other two Jury Award winners were John Reese, AIA, of Weinstein Freidlein Architects for the Banbury House in Raleigh, and Mike Rantilla, AIA, for his own home on Pictou Road, also in Raleigh.
The jurors for the inaugural Matsumoto Prize were: Frank Harmon, chairman; George Matsumoto (for whom the Prize was named), honorary chair; Marlon Blackwell; Larry Scarpa; David Jameson; and Tom Kundig. Public vote via an online voting site served as one seventh of the total.
Patrarca, a Professor of Practice at NC State University’s College of Design and co-owner Tonic Design + Tonic Construction with designer Katherine Hogan, received a $1000 cash prize and a glass trophy, both presented by Triangle Modernist Houses, a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting modernist residential design from the 1950s to today.
For more information on the George Matsumoto Prize, go to www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/prize.
For more information on Tonic Design + Tonic Construction, visit www.tonic-design.com.