January 28, 2013 (Raleigh, NC) — The 1960 Owen and Dorothy Smith home in Raleigh’s Country Club Hills is not only the largest mid-century modernist house in Raleigh at 5000 square feet, it’s also a now-historic cache of design concepts that changed the way average Americans felt about home, space, and family life.
For the first time since it was built, the Owen Smith house at 122 Perquimans Drive will be open for public touring on Saturday, February 2, from 9 a.m. until noon, sponsored by Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH).
The stone, wood, and glass home was designed by its owner, architect Owen Smith (1917-2012), who transformed the basement space into sun-lit offices for his architectural practice, including a staff of six people.
Like other exemplary mid-century modernist houses, the Smith house features an open floor plan with living and dining rooms occupying separate areas of one central volume. Open floor plans, combined with modest bedrooms meant solely for sleeping, were intended to inspired families to spend more time together in the central living space.
Mid-century moderns also brought exterior materials into the interior. In this case, the slate flooring on the extended front porch reappears in the wide foyer. The same stone on exterior walls forms a dramatic living room wall that encases the fireplace. Stone walls also appear in the bedrooms.
In the 1950s, the idea of indoor-outdoor living was a new, revolutionary passion. To this end, the Smith house features an abundance of glass, including floor-to-ceiling glass at the main entrance, a steady row of windows that surround the kitchen, and an entire glass wall in the living room that opens onto an equally large screened-in back porch. A courtyard paved in river rock and walled in stone is in constant view from the living space’s lofty windows.
Beautifully landscaped and maintained, the house will go on the market later this year.
Tickets to the Owen Smith House Tour $10 per person at the door. For details and directions, visit www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/smithhouse.
Proceeds from the tour benefit Triangle Modernist Houses’ ongoing mission to document, preserve and promote modernist residential design. For more information on TMH, visit www.trianglemodernisthouses.com.