December Film Celebrates Frank Sinatra’s Architect

“The Nature of Modernism” explores the work

of E. Stewart Williams

The 1947 Sinatra house, designed by E. Stewart Willams

The 1947 Sinatra house, designed by E. Stewart Willams

The Nature of Modernism,” the December screening from the 2016-2017 MoHo Realty Architecture Movie Series, presented by North Carolina Modernist Houses, explores the work of architect E. Stewart Williams, the prolific modernist who designed Frank Sinatra’s iconic house in Palm Beach. The film will be screened in The Hunt Library auditorium, NCSU Centennial Campus, Thursday, December 1, starting at 7:30 p.m.

“When Frank Sinatra walked into E. Stewart Williams’ newly established architectural office in May of 1947 he wanted a Georgian-style house built in the desert of Palm Springs. Williams tactfully convinced him of the benefits of modernism and Sinatra went for it. The two had no idea how far reaching and influential that decision would prove to be.” (Denver Art Museum on the film’s premiere there)

The film traces Williams’ family history and professional career from his early days designing Sinatra’s house, to later years producing civic structures, including the Crafton Hills College, Palm Springs Art Museum, and the Santa Fe Federal Savings, now the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion.

Each fall, the award-winning non-profit organization North Carolina Modernist Houses presents its annual movie series of hard-to-find architecture-related films. NCMH screens the films once a month through February.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Mod Squad members get in free until capacity is reached. The first 100 NCSU students with a student ID are admitted free of charge. NCSU Friends of the Library members receive 10 percent off the ticket price with a “Friends of the Library” card.

MoHoRealty — specializing in modern and unique architect-designed homes in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill — sponsors the entire series along with VMZinc, Hill Country Wood Works, and The Kitchen Specialist. For more information on the series, the films, and to view trailers, go to

The Hunt Library is located on Centennial Campus at 1070 Partners Way, Raleigh (27606). Free parking is available adjacent to the library. For directions, go to or call 919-515-7110.


MoHo Realty Architecture Movie Series Moves To Hunt Library, Opens October 1

NC Modernist HousesThis year’s MoHo Realty Architecture Movie series, sponsored by North Carolina Modernist Houses and MoHo Realty, starts this Thursday, October 1, at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library Auditorium in Raleigh with a special screening of the 2014 documentary “The Competition.”

“The Competition” is a raw account of how some of the best architects in the world, including Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, and Zaha Hadid, struggling to beat the competition for the National Museum of Art in Andorra, a tiny nation between France and Spain. Called “mud wrestling with architects, this is the first competition to be documented, producing an unclassifiable film that turns into an intense thriller.”

Monthly now through February, the MoHo Realty Architecture Movie Series will screen hard-to-find architecture-related films in the Hunt Library Auditorium at NC State University with one additional film in downtown Raleigh in November.*

The series line-up includes:

  • Small Houses Double Feature:“Lustron: The House America’s Been Waiting For” and “Little Boxes: The Legacy of Henry Doelger,” on Thursday, November 5.
  • *Downtown Special Event:“Modern Ruin,” the story of Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion at the World’s Fair, on Saturday, November 14, at Kings Barcade, 14 West Martin Street in downtown Raleigh.
  • Holiday Starchitecture Double Feature:“Xmas Meier” and “Gehry’s Vertigo” on Thursday December 3.
  • “Romanza: The Structures of California Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright,” on Thursday, January 7
  • Double Feature:“Archiculture” and an animated short feature “Me and My Moulton” on Thursday, February 4.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Mod Squad members get in free until capacity is reached. The first 100 NCSU students with a student ID get in free. NCSU Friends of the Library receive 10 percent off tickets with their Friends of the Library Card. The Hunt Library is located on Centennial Campus at 1070 Partners Way, Raleigh. Free parking is available adjacent to the library.

Series sponsor MoHo Realty specializes in modern and unique architect-designed homes in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Other series sponsors include VMZinc and Hill Country Wood Works.  For more information on the series, the films, and to view trailers, go to

NCMH Launches 2014-2015 MODTriangle Architecture Movie Series

With a special screening of “Fully Awake: Black Mountain College.” FullyAwake

North CarolinaModernist Houses (NCMH) and MODTriangle Realty will launch the 2014-2015 MODTriangle Architecture Movie Series this Wednesday, October 1, at Full Frame Theater, American Tobacco Campus, Durham, NC, with a special showing of “Fully Awake: Black Mountain College” at 7:30 p.m.

Before the film, North Carolina State University College of Design Adjunct Associate Professor Margret Kentgens-Craig, author of The Bauhaus in America, will speak about the Bauhaus movement and Black Mountain College’s influence on architecture.

From October through February, NCMH and MODTriangle Realty will screen films focused on architecture once a month. Full Frame Theater will host most, but not all, of the films. The theater is located within the American Tobacco Campus at 319 Blackwell Street, Durham, NC 27701 (919.431.1566).

“Fully Awake: Black Mountain College” is a documentary film that explores the college’s radical approach to arts education. Throughout its existence from 1933-1957, this unique college in Western North Carolina was an influential experiment in education that inspired and shaped 20th century American art. This film screening is sponsored by Dail Dixon, FAIA.

imagesOn Wednesday, November 5, the movie series continues at Full Frame Theater with “Unfinished Spaces,” sponsored by BuildSense. This documentary looks at the radical designs three young, visionary architects created in 1961 when Fidel Castro and Che Guevara invited them to produce Cuba’s National Art Schools on the grounds of a former golf course in Havana, Cuba.

On Wednesday, December 3, comedy comes to the MODTriangle Movie Series when architect/blogger/comedian Jody Brown and stand-up comedian Marcie Maier accompany a screening of “The Fountainhead” (location to be announced). This classic 1949 film is based on Ayn Rand’s novel by the same name, which illuminates idealism versus reality in the pursuit of architecture. Starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal, the film now displays some humerous and awkward moments, which Brown and Maier will exploit. The event is sponsored by Carrington Electric LLC.

On Wednesday, January 7, Full Frame Theater will host a documentary about Santiago Calatrava Valls, the renowned Spanish neo-futuristic architect, structural engineer, sculptor, and painter whose buildings are often considered giant sculpture. The specific film and the location for the screening will be announced at a later date. Center Studio Architecture will sponsor the Calatrava film.

On Wednesday, February 4, the 2014-2015 series will conclude with “The Competition,” a documentary on the politics and the power struggles of an architecture competition for the Andorran National Museum of Art. The competition pitted five world-renowned “starchitects” against each other: Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Dominique Perrault, Zaha Hadid, and Norman Foster. The museum remains unbuilt. This special screening, sponsored by Blueplate PR, will be held at the AIA NC Center for Architecture & Design, 14 East Peace Street, Raleigh, NC (919.833.6656).

All films begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door. NCMH Mod Squad members are admitted free until capacity is reached. Seating is very limited so movie-goers are encouraged to arrive early

George Smart, NCMH director, will also raffle off various architecture-related items after each screening.

Additional sponsors for the 2014-2015 NCMH MODTriangle Movie Series include The Kitchen Specialist in Durham, VMZinc in Raleigh, and Palette & Parlor in Chapel Hill.

For more information on the movie series and NCMH in general, visit


Nowell’s Architecture Movie Series Presents “Koolhaas HouseLife”

Maison a Bordeaux

The third of four architecture films hosted by Triangle Modernist


February 1, 2011 (CARY, NC) – The second annual Nowell’s Architecture Movie Series features hard-to-find films about Modernist architects and architecture. The series continues this month with a special screening of Koolhaas HouseLife, featuring architect Rem Koolhaas’ 1998 Maison a Bordeaux (House in Bordeaux), on Thursday, February 17, 7 p.m.. at the Galaxy Cinema in Cary.


Koolhaas HouseLife examines daily life inside a masterpiece of modern architecture. Unlike most architecture films, however, this one focuses less on explaining the house and more on letting the viewer experience what Time Magazine named “the best design of 1998” through the eyes of the woman who has to clean it, housekeeper Guadelupe Acedo.

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regist6Stunning modernist architecture is the star.

November 11, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – George Smart, founder and executive director of Triangle Modernist (TMH), has announced the first TMH Architecture Movie Series, four monthly Thursday night events at the Galaxy Cinema in Cary, N.C.

The first film is Thursday, December 10 — “Visual Acoustics,” a documentary on Julius Shulman, arguably the most important architectural photographer of the 20th century. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman and directed by Eric Bricker, “Visual Acoustics” chronicles Shulman’s life and work as he shaped the careers of influential architects including Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, and John Lautner.

On Thursday, January 14, TMH will screen Ayn Rand’s 1949 classic “The Fountainhead,” based on philosopher Rand’s seminal novel by the same name. “Protagonist Howard Roark is a fiercely individualistic young, modernist architect who chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision,” Smart said. “Roark is the embodiment of the human spirit and his struggle represents the triumph of individualism over collectivism.”

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