NCMH Founder George Smart Receives AIA NC’s Legacy Award

For service to North Carolina architecture

NCMH founder and director George Smart

NCMH founder and director George Smart

September 18, 2013 (Durham, NC) – On a moonlit night aboard the USS North Carolina in Wilmington, NC, George Smart, founder of North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH), received the prestigious Legacy Award from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA NC).
According to AIA NC, the Legacy Award is given to non-architect organizations or individuals “who demonstrate that they have, with purpose, influenced the advancement of architecture and/or raised the public’s awareness of the positive impact that architecture and planning can make on the perception and livability of North Carolina communities.” It has only been awarded twice before: to Biltmore Corporation in Asheville in 2010 and Preservation North Carolina in 2011.
NCMH (formerly Triangle Modernist Houses) is a non-profit organization dedicated to archiving, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design across the state from the 1950s to today.
Along with creating the country’s largest open digital archive of Modernist houses and architects at, NCMH maintains a free listing of NC Modernist houses for sale or rent.  The site has 60 gigs of content including architecture magazines and other documents, lectures, and video interviews with NC architects.
NCMH hosts public tours of Modernist houses; supports 9th and 10th grade design education through Project BauHow; sponsors an annual series of architecture movies; hosts summer networking happy hours for the design community; and hosts an annual dinner where local Modernist architects gather with the  public. All NCMH events are intended to raise awareness of Modernist design, to connect people with Modernist architects, and to help preserve Modernist houses for future generations. 
In 2012, NCMH created the George Matsumoto Prize, a unique design awards program that recognizes excellence in recent single-family Modernist residential design in North Carolina.
In his presentation in Wilmington, Executive Director David Crawford quoted architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, as saying: “No one has done more for North Carolina architecture in the last six years than George Smart.”
For more information on the AIA NC Legacy Award, go to and click on “Design and Chapter Awards.”    For more information on George Smart and NCMH, visit

MODTriangle Architecture Movie Series Opens With Double Feature

A special screening of “Futuro” and “People in Glass Houses” will be held October 2.


September 12, 2013 (Raleigh, NC) — The 2013-14 MODTriangle Architecture Movie Series will begin Wednesday, October 2,with a double feature presenting “Futuro: A New Stance For Tomorrow” and “People in Glass Houses: The Legacy of Joseph Eichler.”

Hosted by North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) and sponsored by Sarah Sonke of MODTriangle, the movie series will screen architecture-related movies once a month from October through February 2014 at the Raleigh Grande.Futuro

“Futuro: A New Stance For Tomorrow” is a short film that journeys back in time to the “futuristic past” to investigate the rise and fall of the plastic Futuro house designed by architect Matti Suuronen. In 1965, Dr. Jaako Hiidenkary asked Suuronen to design a ski cabin. That commission turned into a round, prefabricated house with a distinctive “flying saucer” shape and airplane hatch entrance. The little house measured 13 feet high and 26 feet in diameter.

Futoro’s story is “full of international color and drama,” the movie’s promotional material claims, “tracing the development of Suuronen’s ‘purely mathematical idea’ into a multipurpose commodity, which is eventually destroyed by time and public opinion.”

“People in Glass Houses,” sponsored by architect Dail Dixon, FAIA, explores architect Joseph Eichler’s departure from cookie-cutter suburban tracts of the postwar era to innovative, modern houses that, together, created communities built around common-use parks and pools. Eichler built nearly 11,000 of his single-family houses in California beginning in the 1940s. According to the Eichler, these houses “befuddled the traditional masses—emphasizing boldness, change, and optimism through indoor-outdoor living, walls of glass, atriums, and radiant-heat floors.”

In the film, three generations of the same family, all of whom own Eichler homes, talk about returning to a simpler time when kids played ball in cul-de-sacs at night. They also share resources for maintaining the integrity of the original glass-walled structures. 

The double feature begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $9 and are available at the NCMH Ticket Desk inside the Raleigh Grande at 4840 Grove Barton Road, Raleigh (27613).

Additional movies series sponsors include the Contemporary Art Museum in downtown Raleigh, VMZINC, Kontek, and Alison Steele of A + S Design. For more information on these and future films in the series, go to