CUSTOM HOME MAGAZINE: “Modernist Design Competition Winners”

Architects and residential design enthusiasts selected their favorite houses in

The Smart-Stell house received First Place in the Jury Awards category.

The Smart-Stell house received First Place in the Jury Awards category.

the 2014 George Matsumoto Prize

By Shelley D. Hutchins

Out of the 12 entries in this fairly new residential design competition, six recently were awarded cash prizes totaling $6,000. The George Matsumoto Prize was created in 2012 to recognize modernist single-family houses built in North Carolina in the past five years. According to the competition’s website, North Carolina has the third largest concentration of modernist houses in the country and this prize hopes to raise awareness and support for local architects’ accomplishments in this genre.

Each year, three winners are selected by an architectural panel while the other three honorees are ranked according to votes from around the globe. The jury of internationally acclaimed architects—who all create award-winning custom houses themselves—was chaired by the competition’s namesake, George Matsumoto… READ MORE

NCMH Hosts Chapel Hill Tour of 1969 Cogswell House

Cogswell Rendering

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) has announced a special one-time-only public tour of the 1969 Arthur Cogswell House at 308 North Elliott Road in Chapel Hill (27514) on Saturday, August 16, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Arthur Cogswell, FAIA (1930-2010), left a legacy of mid-20th-century houses in North Carolina that are still valued today. This award-winning 1969 Modernist house is considered one of his most inspired residential designs. It was one of the first homes in the state to be built around a courtyard pool.

To preserve their family home, Cogswell’s daughters, Elizabeth and Amanda, have partnered with architect Phil Szostak, FAIA, of Szostak Design and Modernist real estate specialist Emilie Huin for a partial renovation. The new owner can then complete the renovation with confidence.

Elizabeth and Amanda will be on hand during the tour, along with Szostak and Huin, to answer questions. The house will be officially listed for sale in early August.

Cogswell’s career exemplified former NC State University School of Design Dean Henry Kamphoefner’s conviction that “the social responsibilities are as vital as the design.” Posthumously, in 2012, AIA North Carolina gave Cogswell the Kamphoefner Prize, which honors architects who have demonstrated a consistent integrity and devotion to Modern architecture over a 10-year period.

Advance discount tickets for the general public are $5.95 (available at Day-of tickets will be $10. NCMH Mod Squad members’ tickets are $1 in advance or $10 at the door.

For more details about the tour and directions to the house, go to

ARCHITECTS+ARTISANS: “Six Winners in Matsumoto Competition”

Three jury-selected modern homes and three “people’s choice” houses are the winners in the

The 2013 Rebecca Hedly House, aka the Blue House, Asheville NC.  Designed by Maria Rusafova of Rusafova Markulis Architects, Asheville.

The  Hedly House by Maria Rusafova of Rusafova Markulis Architects, Asheville.

2014 Matsumoto Prize competition in North Carolina.

The six homes – from Durham, Leicester, Asheville, Wilmington, Raleigh, and Charlotte – made the final cut out of 12 total entries.

The competition, the third in as many years, is sponsored by North Carolina Modernist Houses. Its intent is to honor architect George Matsumoto, who once taught and built in the mid-century modern aesthetic in Raleigh. Recruited by Henry Kamphoefner to teach at N.C. State’s School of Design, Matsumoto practiced in North Carolina from 1948 to 1961. READ MORE…

Modernist Houses Across NC Take Top Honors In 2014 Matumoto Prize

The Lebda Guest House in Wilmington, designed by Michael Ross Kersting Architecture, won First Place in the People's Choice awards.

The Lebda Guest House in Wilmington, designed by Michael Ross Kersting Architecture, won First Place in the People’s Choice awards.

Modernist houses from Asheville to Wilmington received top honors last week in the third annual George Matsumoto Prize for Modernist residential design across the state, sponsored by the award-winning non-profit organization North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH).

The houses submitted had to be in North Carolina but the designers could be based anywhere. All submissions were capable of winning in two, or both, categories: the Jury Awards and the People’s Choice Awards.

During a special ceremony that NCMH held at the Contemporary Art Museum in downtown Raleigh, sponsored by CAM, Foundation bar, and Palette & Parlor, architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, announced the winners of the Jury Awards category, which were chosen by a team of professional architects from California, Massachusetts, and New York, and included cash prizes. The 2014 Jury Award winners were:

  1.  First Place: The Smart-Stell House in Durham, designed and built by Vincent Petrarca of Tonic Design + Tonic Construction of Raleigh.
  1.  Second Place: The Herbits House in Leicester, designed by Eric Gartner of SPG Architects in New York, New York.
  1.  Third Place: The Hedly House in Asheville, designed by Maria Rusafova of Rusafova-Markulis Architects in Asheville.

According to Harmon, who facilitated the jury for NCMH, the jurors commented that there were good merits in all of the projects submitted, which made it difficult to select the winners. “The projects the jury felt were the most interesting,” Harmon said, “dealt with their specific sites in clear and compelling ways. For example: a house by a lake, a house in the treetops, and a mountain house.”
The jury also commended the winning designers for their use of “common sense: cross-ventilation, roof overhangs, and daylight. Sustainability seemed common to all and each winning house represents good simplicity of form and massing.”

NCMH founder George Smart announced the People’s Choice Awards winners, selected by 1200 people from around the world who voted online. The 2014 People’ Choice winners were:

  1.  First Place: The Lebda Guest House in Wilmington, designed by Michael Ross Kersting with Toby R. Keaton of Michael Ross Kersting Architecture of Wilmington.
  1.  Second Place: The Dasgupta-Saucier House in Raleigh, designed by Robby Johnston and Craig Kerins of Raleigh Architecture & Raleigh Construction of Raleigh.
  1.  Third Place: The UrbanEden House in Charlotte, designed and built by the UNC-Charlotte Solar Decathlon Architecture Team, advisor Mona Azarbajani.

The Matsumoto Prize is named to honor George Matsumoto, FAIA, a founding faculty member at the North Carolina State University School of Design (now College of Design) who is well known for many exemplary mid-century Modernist houses he designed across North Carolina. Matsumoto also served as Honorary Chair of the professional jury.

For more information on the winning projects, and to see all of the submissions, visit



CAM To Host NCMH Matsumoto Prize Awards Ceremony During “Thirst4Architecture”

photo by Joseph Rafferty

photo by Joseph Rafferty

Design award winners to be announced during the popular networking event.

The Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) in downtown Raleigh will host North Carolina Modernist Houses 2014 George Matsumoto Prize Awards for Modernist residential design on Thursday, July 17, from 6-830 p.m. The awards are part of NCMH’s “Thirst4Architecture” networking happy hour.  The events are free and open to the public.

Entertainment will include refreshments from Foundation bar in Raleigh, a game of “Modernist Musical Chairs” sponsored by Ivy Simon of Palette & Parlor in Chapel Hill, live music by Kurt Melges and special musical guest Rebecca Newton of Rebecca and the Hi-Tones, and door prizes.  Emilie Huin of Coldwell Banker, a specialist in Modernist real estate throughout the Triangle, is the series sponsor for Thirst4Architecture.

Now in its third year, The Matsumoto Prize is the only professionally juried competition with cash prizes specializing in Modernist houses.  So far, nearly 1000 public votes have been cast for the three top People’s Choice houses.  To see – and vote — visit

“These entries inspire people to dream of having their own Modernist house.  Most people are surprised to know Modernist design doesn’t have to be expensive.  It can easily be affordable, efficient, sustainable, and a house their families will love for decades,” says NCMH founder and director George Smart. “This year’s entries are terrific, and we’re looking forward to revealing this winners.”

CAM Raleigh Executive Director Gab Smith commented on the museum’s decision to host the Prize awards ceremony: “The 2014 Matsumoto Prize Awards are a fantastic way to celebrate excellence in design and CAM Raleigh is thrilled to host the awards as a NCMH community partner.

Foundation Bar and Alphin Design Build, both in Raleigh, and Palette & Parlor of Chapel Hill, are also sponsoring the July event.

CAM Raleigh is located at 409 West Martin Street. For more information and directions, go to