NCMH Opens 2015 With Back-To-Back Events In Downtown Durham

A film on Santiago Calatrava’s “Turning Torso” building and a

Santiago Calatrava's "Twisted Tower" in Malmo, Sweden.

Santiago Calatrava’s “Twisted Tower” in Malmo, Sweden.

networking event at Kontek.

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) will open 2015 with two back-to-back Durham events: a special screening of a film about world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava and a “Thirst4Architecture” (T4A) design networking event at Kontek Systems.

On Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 pm, the NCMH MODTriangle Architecture Movie Series will present “The Socialist, The Architect, and The Twisted Tower,” the dramatic, behind-the-scenes story about building the tallest residential tower in Malmo, Sweden, that Santiago Calatrava said was inspired by a turning human torso. The environmentally sustainable, 620-foot-high, twisted building once was once named the “world’s best residential building project.”

The film will be shown at Full Frame Theatre, 320 Blackwell Street, on the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. Tickets are $10 per person at the door. Space is limited so early arrival is recommended. Sarah Sonke of ModTriangle, specializing in Modernist real estate sales and auctions, is sponsoring the entire movie series. The Calatrava film’s specific sponsor is Center Studio Architecture, specializing in modern downtown Durham development.

PrintThe following night, Thursday, January 8, Frank Konhaus and Wes Newman of Kontek Systems will host NCMH’s first T4A networking  event in 2015 in their downtown Durham headquarters at 318 Holland Street from 6-8 pm. Free and open to the public, the event will include an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of one of Kontek’s audio/video design and integration projects in downtown Durham.

T4A events connect hundreds of Modernist design enthusiasts in a casual environment. The host business provides refreshments and other entertainment while attendees build relationships, create strategic alliances, and make new contacts. Emilie Huin of 501 Realty sponsors the 2015 T4A series.

NCMH is an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design across the state. For the dates and locations of future movies and T4A events, visit


NEWS & OBSERVER: “Small and Customized”

By Jody Brown

Click on the link below to download the PDF…

Sat Dec 6 N&O Knock Knock

Durham Furniture Designer Hosts December “Thirst4Architecture”

A year-round series of networking events for Modernist design fans

Furniture by Elijah Leed

Furniture by Elijah Leed

Durham-based furniture company Elijah Leed will host North Carolina Modernist Houses “Thirst4Architecture” (T4A) design networking event on Thursday, December 11, from 6-8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Emilie Huin of 501 Realty, specializing in Modernist houses in the Triangle, is sponsoring the entire T4A series through December 2015.

Through its T4A events, North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) connects hundreds of Modernist design enthusiasts with each other. The host business provides refreshments and other entertainment while attendees build relationships, create strategic alliances, and make new contacts.

“We welcome Modernist homeowners, architects and designers, artists, builders and contractors, furniture retainers, students, and anyone else with a huge crush on Modernist design,” says NCMH board chair George Smart.

Founded in 2010, Elijah Leed is a small company that designs and builds furniture and other everyday objects that are “unassuming, love to be used, and are freshly designed from honest materials, ” the company’s website states. “In many ways, our materials are what define us. We are passionate about age-old manufacturing and transparency of where our materials have come from.”

Designer Elijah Leed grew up in the mountains of West Virginia, where he gets most of his lumber. He graduated from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, with a degree in Studio Art. Today, he designs and builds his furniture and other objects from his studio in downtown Durham’s Golden Belt Arts District at 812 North Mangum Street (27701). For more information visit

For the dates and locations of future T4A events, go to

NCMH Announce 2015 Advisory Council

To support the non-profit’s ongoing programming and initiatives

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH), the award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design across the state, has announced the members of the 2015 NCMH Advisory Council.

Advisory Council members serve for one year as support for NCMH’s ongoing programming, including trips and homes tours, the architectural movie series, and the Thirst4Architecture networking events. The Council also advises on special initiatives, such as the NCMH Legal Defense Fund, which protects endangered Modernist houses; Project BauHow, which provides CAD systems ninth and tenth graders in architectural drafting classes across rural North Carolina; and the annual George Matsumoto Prize for excellence in recent North Carolina Modernist residential design.

“The Advisory Council is a multi-talented and diverse cross-section of the Modernist community: architecture, real estate, construction, law, financing, historic preservation, and other disciplines,” said NCMH founder and director George Smart. “The 2015 Council is a superb team, one of our best yet.”

The 2015 NCMH Advisory Council members are:

  • Chandra Hester, VMZINC
  • Emilie Huin, 501 Realty
  • Leon Meyers, LE Meyers Builders
  • Dr. Marsha Gordon, NCSU
  • Jeremy Farber, Maplewood Building Company
  • Kim Weiss, Blueplate PR
  • Laura Frushone, First Citizens Investor Services
  • Tim Simmons, NC State Historic Preservation Office
  • Craig Kerins, The Raleigh Architecture Company
  • Laurent de Comarmond, Little Diversified Architectural
  • William Dodge, Eco-Ficient, MBCI
  • Mack Paul, Morningstar Law Group
  • Mary Frances Wilson, Preservation North Carolina
  • Marty Martin, Martin Law Firm
  • Judy Colditz, HandLab
  • Frank Konhaus, KONTEK Systems
  • Adam Carrington, Carrington Electric
  • Ivy Simon, Palette and Parlor
  • Angela Roehl, Keller Williams Realty
  • Charlotte Brown Wainwright, Architectural Historian
  • Gwynn Thayer, NCSU Libraries Special Collections
  • Eric Davis, Surface 678 Landscape Architects

Service on the Advisory Council is for the calendar year 2015. For more information on NCMH, visit

These talks, tours, and events raise awareness and help preserve these “livable works of art” for future generations. For more information:


NCMH Announces The 2015 Matsumoto Prize Blue-Ribbon Jury

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH), the award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to

NCMH Matsumoto Prize

MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang, FAIA, of Studio Gang in Chicago

documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design across the state, has announced the 2015 George Matsumoto Prize Jury.

The 2015 jury includes MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang, FAIA, Studio Gang Architects, Chicago; Harry Bates, Bates Masi Architects, Sag Harbor, New York; Eric Gartner, AIA, SG Architects, New York; Peter Gluck, Gluck+, New York; Bev Thorne, the last living architect to have participated in Arts & Architecture‘s famous Case Study Houses, Oakland; and Honorary Chair George Matsumoto, FAIA.

Now in its fourth year, the Matsumoto Prize honors George Matsumoto, a founding faculty member of North Carolina State University’s School of Design (now College of Design) and architect of some of the state’s best-known and historically significant Modernist houses.

The Matsumoto Prize is a unique awards program. It is the only juried architecture competition in North Carolina that focuses solely on Modernist houses, provides financial awards, involves a national jury of Modernist architects, offers the opportunity for public voting, and connects to a major architectural archive.  Residential architects and designers entering the competition can be from anywhere but their houses must be in North Carolina.

“The Prize powerfully engages the greater community to be involved with the architecture they love,” said NCMH Executive Director George Smart. “The competition publicly showcases a new generation of outstanding Modernist architects and houses, promoting new talent and providing motivating honors and incentives in our state.”

The call for submissions will be announced in 2015.  For more information on the 2015 Matsumoto Prize, visit  To see past winners, go to

NCMH Launches 2014-2015 MODTriangle Architecture Movie Series

With a special screening of “Fully Awake: Black Mountain College.” FullyAwake

North CarolinaModernist Houses (NCMH) and MODTriangle Realty will launch the 2014-2015 MODTriangle Architecture Movie Series this Wednesday, October 1, at Full Frame Theater, American Tobacco Campus, Durham, NC, with a special showing of “Fully Awake: Black Mountain College” at 7:30 p.m.

Before the film, North Carolina State University College of Design Adjunct Associate Professor Margret Kentgens-Craig, author of The Bauhaus in America, will speak about the Bauhaus movement and Black Mountain College’s influence on architecture.

From October through February, NCMH and MODTriangle Realty will screen films focused on architecture once a month. Full Frame Theater will host most, but not all, of the films. The theater is located within the American Tobacco Campus at 319 Blackwell Street, Durham, NC 27701 (919.431.1566).

“Fully Awake: Black Mountain College” is a documentary film that explores the college’s radical approach to arts education. Throughout its existence from 1933-1957, this unique college in Western North Carolina was an influential experiment in education that inspired and shaped 20th century American art. This film screening is sponsored by Dail Dixon, FAIA.

imagesOn Wednesday, November 5, the movie series continues at Full Frame Theater with “Unfinished Spaces,” sponsored by BuildSense. This documentary looks at the radical designs three young, visionary architects created in 1961 when Fidel Castro and Che Guevara invited them to produce Cuba’s National Art Schools on the grounds of a former golf course in Havana, Cuba.

On Wednesday, December 3, comedy comes to the MODTriangle Movie Series when architect/blogger/comedian Jody Brown and stand-up comedian Marcie Maier accompany a screening of “The Fountainhead” (location to be announced). This classic 1949 film is based on Ayn Rand’s novel by the same name, which illuminates idealism versus reality in the pursuit of architecture. Starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal, the film now displays some humerous and awkward moments, which Brown and Maier will exploit. The event is sponsored by Carrington Electric LLC.

On Wednesday, January 7, Full Frame Theater will host a documentary about Santiago Calatrava Valls, the renowned Spanish neo-futuristic architect, structural engineer, sculptor, and painter whose buildings are often considered giant sculpture. The specific film and the location for the screening will be announced at a later date. Center Studio Architecture will sponsor the Calatrava film.

On Wednesday, February 4, the 2014-2015 series will conclude with “The Competition,” a documentary on the politics and the power struggles of an architecture competition for the Andorran National Museum of Art. The competition pitted five world-renowned “starchitects” against each other: Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Dominique Perrault, Zaha Hadid, and Norman Foster. The museum remains unbuilt. This special screening, sponsored by Blueplate PR, will be held at the AIA NC Center for Architecture & Design, 14 East Peace Street, Raleigh, NC (919.833.6656).

All films begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door. NCMH Mod Squad members are admitted free until capacity is reached. Seating is very limited so movie-goers are encouraged to arrive early

George Smart, NCMH director, will also raffle off various architecture-related items after each screening.

Additional sponsors for the 2014-2015 NCMH MODTriangle Movie Series include The Kitchen Specialist in Durham, VMZinc in Raleigh, and Palette & Parlor in Chapel Hill.

For more information on the movie series and NCMH in general, visit


Newton Conover High School To Receive Free Computers, Software September 23

Project BauHow, North Carolina Modernist Houses

Thanks to North Carolina Modernist Houses’ “Project BauHow”

On Thursday, September 23, at 2:30 p.m., students in Steve Brucker’s drafting class at Newton Conover High School in Newton, NC, who do not have access to computers at home will receive free desktop computers loaded with Computer Aided Design (CAD) software thanks to “Project BauHow,” a new educational initiative from North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH).

NCMH is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting, and archiving Modernist design across the state. George Smart, founder and director of NCMH, will present the computers to Brucker and his students.

Project BauHow (Bauhaus + Know How) is designed to inspire and accelerate learning in 9th and 10th grade high school drafting classes by increasing students’ access to computers, expanding the ability of drafting teachers to give homework, and encouraging and rewarding the study and creation of Modernist residential architecture.

“North Carolina high school drafting teachers generally can’t give drafting homework because up to 60 percent of high school students in the state don’t have a computer at home or one powerful enough to handle CAD software,” says Smart, who created the project. “That means skills practice in drafting classes can only progress during class time, severely limiting student learning through meaningful homework assignments and additional skill-building.”

In return for the donation, Brucker and other drafting teachers agree to require their students to design Modernist houses then submit those designs to the Student Category of NCMH’s annual George Matsumoto Prize, a competition recognizing excellence in Modernist residential design. The winner of the competition receives a full scholarship to North Carolina State University’s Design Camp this summer.

The Newton donation, worth $5000, is sponsored by Smart Homes + Business of Greenville.

For more details on Project BauHow, including photos and videos about the project, go to or contact George Smart:, 919-740-8407.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.