NCMH Sponsors Tour Of The Largest Mid-Century Modern House In Raleigh

owensmith109The 1960 Owen Smith House will be open to the public for the first time.

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 North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH).

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.

owensmith106Mid-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

Proceeds from the tour benefit North Carolina Modernist Houses’ ongoing mission to document, preserve and promote modernist residential design. For more information on NCMH, visit



Triangle Modernist Houses Presents “Eames: The Architect and The Painter”

A documentary film on designers Charles and Ray Eames ends the 4th annual Nowell’s Architecture Movie Series.

Charles and Ray Eames

Charles and Ray Eames

January 23, 2012 (Raleigh, NC) — Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH) will conclude its 4th Annual Nowell’s Architecture Movie Series with a special screening of “Eames: The Architect and The Painter” on Thursday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Raleigh Grande cinema in Raleigh.

Charles Eames and his wife and partner, Ray, are widely regarded as two of America’s most important designers. They are perhaps best remembered for their mid-century modern plywood and fiberglass furniture, yet their Venice, California-based firm created an astonishing variety of other products, from splints for wounded soldiers during World War II, to photography, interiors, multi-media exhibits, graphics, games, films, and toys.

Their personal lives and their influence on significant events in American life have been less widely understood – from the development of modernism, to the rise of the computer age.  In its review of the documentary, the New York Times suggested that Charles and Ray Eames’ approach to product design and the presentation of information “was in its way as influential as [Apple founder Steve] Jobs’…[and] left traces in nearly every aspect of contemporary life.”

Created by Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey and narrated by James Franco, “Eames: The Architect and The Painter” is the first film since the Eames’ deaths dedicated to their creative geniuses and work. To view a trailer, go to

Lee Hansley Gallery in Raleigh is sponsoring this special screening. Modern Home Auction, Go Realty, The Kitchen Specialist, and Carrington Electric LLC, and VMZinc, as well as Nowell’s Contemporary Furniture, have sponsoring the entire series.

Individual admission is $9 per person per film, available at the door. Mod Squad members are admitted free. Proceeds benefit TMH’s ongoing documentation, preservation, and promotion programs for modernist residential architecture from the 1950s to today. To order advance tickets, go to

The Raleigh Grande is located at 4840 Grove Barton Road, Raleigh NC 27613, just off Lynn Road and Glenwood Avenue/Highway 70 West (919-226-2012).

For more information on Triangle Modernist Houses, visit

Triangle Modernist Houses Announces 2013 Appetite 4 Architecture Series


Vinny Petrarca of Tonic Design will attend the January 15 A4A Dinner.(Photo by Allen Weiss)

Vinny Petrarca of Tonic Design will attend the January 15 A4A Dinner.
(Photo by Allen Weiss)

Informal dinners connect noted local Modernist house architects with the public.

January 2, 2013 (Raleigh, NC) — For anyone dreaming of a new Modernist house, or interested in  the work of a local architect or designer, or perhaps thinking about architecture as a career, Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH) offers them public the opportunity to enjoy dinners with prominent members of the Triangle’s design community in a casual, small-group setting during the nonprofit organization’s annual “Appetite 4 Architecture” (A4A) series.

A4A offers the public a unique opportunity to enjoy easy, informal discussions in an upscale dining environment with direct access to some of the area’s best residential architects and designers,” said TMH founder and director George Smart. “Participants are welcome to discuss anything they want with an array of award-winning professionals. They can discuss architecture, homebuilding, furnishings, real estate, or anything else. There are no presentations or PowerPoint slides, just great conversations.”

Each A4A dinner will be held at 18 Seaboard Contemporary American Grill in Raleigh and begin at 7 p.m.  The dinners include three courses (appetizer, entree, dessert) from a pre-selected menu, plus coffee/water/tea, tax, and gratuity. Vegetarian options are available and alcoholic beverages are available separately.

Matsumoto Award First Prize winner will also attend the Jan. 15th dinner.

Matsumoto Award First Prize winner will also attend the Jan. 15th dinner.

The architects and designers on tap for this year’s series of A4A dinners are:

January 15:  The winners of the 2012 juried Matsumoto Prize for North Carolina Modernist residential architecture: John Reese, Mike Rantilla, and Vinny Petrarca. (Sponsored by VMZINC)

January 22: The “People’s Choice” winners of the 2012 Matsumoto Prize: Adam Sebastian, Will Alphin, and Scott Ogden. (Sponsored by VMZINC)

January 29:  architects Ellen Cassilly and Phil Freelon, along with jazz singer Nneena Freelon. Cassilly designed the Freelons’ 2200-square-foot penthouse condominium in downtown Durham’s Kress building. (Sponsored by Steelcase)

Tickets are $59 per dinner and are available at A4A dinners tend to sell out far in advance, Smart said, so he encourages those interested to reserve their tickets soon. The deadline for reserving a seat at each dinner is one week prior.

All proceeds benefit TMH’s ongoing mission to document, preserve, and promote Modernist residential design. For more information and to reserve A4A tickets, go to