Tonic Design wins Matsumoto Prize for Modernist Residential Design
A house designed by architect Vinny Petrarca of Tonic Design + Tonic Construction in Raleigh received one of only three coveted Jury Awards during the inaugural George Matsumoto Prize for modernist residential, 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. An Energy Star house, the Walters' home was the first modern residence in the state to achieve LEED Silver accreditation.
The 4,100 sq ft 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 maximise 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 utilises 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 used in the project include steel, masonry, glass, concrete, Western Red Cedar, and zinc siding.
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 jury also applauded Tonic for the firm's 'courage and energy to both design and build this remarkable house'.