Raleigh-based Tonic Design completed a creative new home that plays with the contrast between old and new through the use of reclaimed and contemporary materials. READ MORE…


Corten steel helps residence blend into surroundings seamlessly.

By Marcy Marro Editor

Tonic Design

Photo: Tzu Chen Photography

Located in a wooded cul-de-sac neighborhood in Durham, N.C., this single-family residence, nicknamed Piedmont Retreat, is wrapped in vertical Corten steel panels facing the street, and vast expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass and cantilevered windows in the back that overlook the surrounding forest.


The owners reached out to Raleigh, N.C.-based Tonic Design and Tonic Construction to design and build the residence. “It’s a corner lot,” says Vincent Petrarca, co-owner, designer and contractor at Tonic Design, “so the house really had to respond to the two streets. And for us, trying to create a place that’s calm and a getaway, the idea of even a few streetlights at night on the corner, the house really had to turn its back on the street. So the house created this hard shell to that side of the property, and then it really opens up, like a geode, looking down the Piedmont ravine into the mature forest.” READ MORE…

Tonic Design

Corten® steel provides a modest, low-maintenance exterior (it will never need painting) that will eventually weather to blend into the natural setting. Photo: Tzu Chen Photography

by Lucy Wang

Raleigh-based Tonic Design completed a creative new home that plays with the contrast between old and new through the use of reclaimed and contemporary materials. Tucked into the forests of Durham, the Piedmont Retreat is a 3,800-square-foot single-family home that embraces the outdoors in its use of weathered materials and large cantilevered windows. Reclaimed materials, like oak flooring and factory lights, help soften the modern steel and glass construction. READ MORE…


A creative duo’s partnership is driven by client needs, site specifics, and school schedules


Masonry, glass, metal, concrete … these are the building materials that Vincent “Vinny” Petrarca and Katherine Hogan, AIA, owners of the firms Tonic Design and Tonic Construction, in Raleigh, N.C., favor. “These things last over time,” Hogan says. “For over 20 years, we’ve been watching as our projects age and evolve,” she adds. The couple believes it all comes down to detailing and materials. Petrarca and Hogan, whose work has won numerous awards, put great stock in the idea that every project they do is unique—with a “particular site, a client with a vision, a budget,” Petrarca says. READ MORE…

ILowes-Pavilion-NCMA.jpgn their latest issue, Walter Magazine features unique minimalist structures in the Triangle area.

Spotlighting Lowe’s Pavillon and other NCMA architectural pieces, the writer notes:

They’re diversions in the landscape, placed to punctuate and celebrate the visual richness of the grounds. But they’re not only meant to be seen – they also provide a vantage point to better appreciate the beauty of their own surroundings.



Tonic Design, Raleigh NC

1700 Glenwood, Tonic Design and Tonic Construction: A vintage 1965 midcentury modern landmark, 1700 Glenwood has benefitted from two renovations at the hands of Vinny Petrarca and Katherine Hogan. The first, in 2011, was a classic design-build for a new aesthetic and a reduction in solar gain. That meant energy-efficient glass, a sunscreen, and a zinc skin – all for $180,000.

By J. Michael Welton

For the past few years, I’ve been writing about a new trend in design and construction. It’s called architect-led design-build – and right now, it’s a rising star in certain circles. Builders have been embracing it for decades, but today architects are taking the lead, too – and for good reason…

…North Carolina law prohibits architecture firms from operating as construction companies, so two separate legal entities are required – one for design and another for building. That way, designers can work both inside the studio as architects and on the site as builders. It translates into accelerated schedules, too, because the two companies are freed from the bidding process usually conducted by general contractors.

“The bank loan is for a year, so we design in three months and build in nine,” says Vinny Petrarca, a partner in Tonic Design and Tonic Construction. “It gives you choices and options a little bit sooner,” adds his partner, Katherine Hogan. “We can understand the financial outcomes – and it adds design value.”  READ MORE…