NCMH Announces 2011 Macon Smith Research Grant Recipients

To support research into residential modernist architecture and architects

October 27, 2011 — David Hill, Assistant Professor of Architecture at North Carolina State University’s College of Design, has won a second Mason Smith Research Grant from North Carolina Modernist Houses, the non-profit, award-winning organization dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting modernist residential design.

David Hill

Hill and his students will use the grant to create digital models of houses designed by ground breaking modernist architect George Matsumoto, FAIA. The models will be posted on the NCMH website and elsewhere.

This is Hill’s second Macon Smith Research Grant from NCMH. In 2009 he received the grant to interview Matsumoto at the architect’s home in Oakland, California.

NCMH also awarded a 2011 MSR Grant to Tyler Merkel of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who will create infrastructure for his website, Mid-century Michigan, and to research Alden Ball Dow, FAIA (1904-1983) for TMH’s archives. Mid-century Michigan is an independent project Merkel initiated to document modern houses in East Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas.

Tyler Merkel

George Smart, founder and board chairman of NCMH, announced the award recipients this week.

Smart established the Macon Smith Research Grant Program in 2009 to support research into residential modernist architecture and architects. Grants of up to $1000 are available to private citizens, academics and students, or institutions.

The grants are named for modernist architect Macon Smith (1919-2008). From 1996 to 1999, Smith was instrumental in the publication of an award-winning historical chronology of AIA North Carolina: “History of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 1913-1988: An Architectural Heritage.” He served on countless AIA boards and committees and won both the 2001 Deitrick Medal and the 2006 F. Carter Williams Gold Medal, the highest honors presented by AIANC.

In early 2008, Smith spent many hours scouring his own records and driving around Raleigh, NC, with George Smart to help NCMH get started.

“Through my dad [the late architect George Smart Sr.], I knew Macon my entire life, but it wasn’t until we started NCMH that I got to know him well,” said Smart. “We had some great afternoons riding around finding his work around Raleigh.  His knowledge of NC architecture became my inspiration for expanding our archives beyond the Triangle area.  David and Tyler now carry the torch for the passion we all share.”

Anyone interested in applying for a 2012 Macon Smith Research Grant an send an email and PowerPoint proposal to Smart at The proposal should include up to 300 total words describing the project the grant would fund, and 10 photos in up to five slides, plus one slide of contact information.

For more information on Macon Smith, go to For more information on Triangle Modernist Houses, visit

NCMH Director To Address North Carolina’s Landscape Architects

October 6, 2011 (Durham, NC) – George Smart, founder and board chairman of North Carolina Modernist Houses, will present his signature talk “Mayberry Modernism: North Carolina’s Modernist Legacy” to the North Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects on October 21 during the NCASLA’s Fall Conference in Concord, NC.

North Carolina Modernist Houses is an award-winning, non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting modernist residential design from the 1950s to today. “Mayberry Modernism” showcases North Carolina’s large collection of Modernist residences, many in good shape, some endangered, and many others destroyed.

“Understanding the need to preserve and promote Modernist residential design, an important period in the nation’s architectural heritage, isn’t limited to architects, homeowners, and historians,” Smart noted. “Landscape architects have also been intimately involved in the planning and design of public and private environments in the modern world. And the NCASLA can count among its membership some of the finest Modernist landscape architects in the nation, both today and in the recent past.”

Smart’s presentation includes a PowerPoint presentation of every modernist house in the state that has received a design award from the American Institute of Architects from mid-century to new construction. Many of those award-winning houses feature landscapes designed by members of the NCASLA. Smart will present “Mayberry Modernism” from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. in the Embassy Suites Hotel in Concord.

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the national professional association representing landscape architects. The Society’s mission is “to lead, to educate, and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments.” For more information, go to

The North Carolina Chapter of the ASLA was formed in 1973. Master landscape architect Dick Bell, a member of the ASLA’s Council of Fellows, served as its first president. The Chapter includes members in private practice, public practice, academic, and related professions. For more information, go to

For more information on “Mayberry Modernism” and North Carolina Modernist Houses, visit

The 2011-2011 Nowell’s Architecture Movies Series Opens with “Rem Koolhaas: A Kind of Architect”

October 6, 2011 (Cary, NC) – The 2011-2012 season of the Nowell’s Architecture Movie Series opens at the Galaxy Cinema in Cary on Thursday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m., with the documentary “Rem Koolhaas: A Kind of Architect.” The series is hosted by Triangle Modernist Houses, an award-winning local nonprofit for the documentation, preservation, and promotion of residential Modernist design.

Rem Koolhaas, 67, is a Dutch architect, architectural theorist, and Professor in Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He won the Pritzker Prize in 2000 and Time magazine named him one of “The World’s Most Influential People” in 2008.

According to the film’s synopsis, “Rarely has an architect caused as much sensation outside of the architecture community as Rem Koolhaas.”

Directed by Markus Heidingsfelder and Min Tesch, the documentary is “an engaging portrait of a visionary man [and] a visually inventive, thought-provoking portrait of the architect.”

Koolhaas himself has called it “the only film about me that I have liked.”

Other sponsors for this special screening include Kontek, Alphin Design-Build, Cherry Modern Interior Design, Dail Dixon FAIA, Studio B Architecture,, and Eidolon Design. Tickets are $9 at the door. To reserve discount advance season tickets, go to

Special associated offer: Bombay Beijing, an Indo-Chinese restaurant across the street from the Galaxy Cinema, offers film-goers a free ticket for every $15 spent in the restaurant that night before the movie.

The Galaxy Cinema is located at 770 Cary Towne Boulevard, Cary, NC 27513; 919-463-9989. For more information and directions:

“Rem Koolhaas: A Kind of Architect” is the first of six architecture films in this year’s series.  They run on certain Thursdays monthly from October through March. To see the entire line-up, go to