NC Modernist Houses Announces 2013-2014 MODTriangle Architecture Movie Series

Five films over five months spotlighting people, places, and trends in architecture.PeopleInGlassHouses


August 6, 2013 (Raleigh, NC) – North Carolina Modernist Houses (formerly Triangle Modernist Houses) announces its 2013-2014 MODTriangleArchitecture Movie Series. Naming sponsor MODTriangle is a Raleigh real estate agency led by Sarah Sonke that specializes in Modernist houses and auctions.

Starting in October and running one Wednesday each month through February at the Raleigh Grande, the season’s schedule is:


·       October 2 – Double feature:  “Futuro: A New Stance For Tomorrow,” about the rise and fall of the plastic Futuro house, a Space Age utopia; and “People In Glass Houses: The Legacy of Joseph Eichler.”


·       November 6 – “The Oyler House” (2013). Filmmaker Mike Dorsey will be on hand to introduce his documentary about a house designed by the late Modernist architect Richard Neutra.


·       December 11 – “Regular or Super: Views on Mies van der Rohe,” an in-depth look at this architect-as-artist and what he tried to do for American architecture.


·       January 8 – “If You Build It” (2013), a documentary that follows designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller in poor, rural Bertie County, North Carolina, where they work with local high school students to transform both their community and their lives.


·       February 5 – “Lioness Among Lions: The Architect Zaha Hadid,” a film that explores the life and controversial work of this world-famous English-Iraqi architect and 2004 Pritzker Prize winner.


Trailers and more information on each film are available at

Other series sponsors include VMZINC®; Alison Steele of A+S Design; architect Dail Dixon, FAIA; Kim Weiss of Blueplate PR; Lee Hansley Gallery; Frank Konhaus and KONTEK; and MdM Historical Consultants.

The Raleigh Grande is located at 4840 Grove Barton Road, off Glenwood Avenue/Highway 70 West in Raleigh. All movies start at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $9 per person per film at the NCMH Ticket Desk inside the theatre. Members of the Mod Squad are free.  Proceeds benefit NCMH’s ongoing documentation, preservation, and promotion programs.

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


Residential Architect Magazine: “New Modernist House Design Competition”

The inaugural George Matsumoto Prize begins accepting entries May 15

By Shelley D. Hutchins 

A George Matsumoto-design house.

Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH) starts accepting entries today, May 15, for its new residential design awards competition. Named after one of the founding professors at North Carolina State University’s architecture school, the George Matsumoto Prize is open to architects and designers from anywhere in the world who have designed a new, single-family modernist house in North Carolina that was completed after Jan. 1, 2006. READ MORE…

Raleigh’s Pecha Kucha Night To Feature “Mayberry Modernism”

George Smart of Triangle Modernist Houses to present the 7-minute version of his popular presentation.

February 14, 2012 (Raleigh, NC) – Triangle Modernist Houses’ founder George Smart will be one of the rapid-fire presenters at Pecha Kucha Night in Raleigh on Wednesday, February 22, presenting  “Mayberry Modernism: Why North Carolina Is America’s Hotspot For Way Cool Houses.”

Pecha Kucha is the Japanese word for “chit-chat.” Participants share ideas in a fast-paced, high-energy manner in no more than six minutes and 40 seconds.

Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH) is an award-winning, non-profit organization Smart founded in 2007 to document, preserve, and promote modernist residential design. “Mayberry Modernism” spotlights many of North Carolina’s modernist houses from the 1950s to today. TMH draws over 50,000 hits a month to its vast digital archives, with nearly 15,000 photos.

The theme for this year’s Pecha Kucha Night in Raleigh is “Love of Community,” which segues perfectly with “Mayberry Modernism,” according to Smart.

“I’ll share how – and why – I and so many people have come together around a love of North Carolina Modernist houses,” he said.

Smart has presented Mayberry Modernism to Pecha Kucha events in Raleigh and Charlotte. He also regularly presents a speech-length version, “Mayberry Modernism: North Carolina’s Modernist Legacy,” across North Carolina to preservation groups, sections of the American Institute of Architecture, and professional realtors’ associations, among others.

Pecha Kucha Night will take place at The Union Tavern in downtown Raleigh, 327 West Davie Street, #114. Doors open at 5:40 p.m.  The event is free, but space is very limited and sells out, so audience members are encouraged to get their free tickets early at

For more information on Triangle Modernist Houses, visit

Chapel Hill Realtors, Durham Library Host “Mayberry Modernism”

Triangle Modernist Houses’ George Smart will discuss NC’s Modernist legacy. 

August 4, 2011 (Durham, NC) — George Smart, founder and director of the award-winning non-profit Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH), will present his signature talk “Mayberry Modernism: North Carolina’s Modernist Legacy” at the South Regional Library in Durham on August 16 and to the Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors® on August 31.

“Mayberry Modernism” showcases the state’s surprisingly large collection of Modernist residences from the 1950s through today, particularly those in the Triangle region. Many of these houses are in good shape, some are endangered, and many have been destroyed.

“Most people, even architects, are surprised that the Triangle has the third largest number of Modernist houses in America,” Smart says. “Through ‘Mayberry Modernism,’ I discuss why we have so many and share photographs of over 50 eye-popping, award-winning Modernist houses in the region from mid-century to new construction.”

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Durham Magazine blog: “Smart Move”

We were pleased to read on Sunday that George Smart, whose cool modern home we featured in our June

Photo by Briana Brough for Durham Magazine

issue, received one of Preservation Durham‘s first Advocacy Awards.

George was honored for founding the Triangle Modernist Houses website, a comprehensive catalog of the best examples of the spare, sleek architectural style to be found in the area. He joined those ranks last year with his Parkwood home, a modern marvel he designed himself. It’s all the more striking for being situated in the heart of the modest, traditional South Durham neighborhood.

Read more…

Triangle Architecture Fans Head “Downeast”

Spotlighting three Modernist houses in Rocky Mount and Greenville, NC.

The 1952 Dowd residence in Rocky Mount.


February 15, 2011 (DURHAM, NC) – Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH) will host its first “Downeast Modernist Tour” of three houses in Rocky Mount and Greenville, NC, on Saturday, March 12. The tour is open to the public with advance reservations through the TMH website.


“When most people in the Triangle area think ‘modernist houses,’ they don’t realize that there are some true gems in Rocky Mount and Greenville,” said George Smart, TMH founder and director. “They’ll change their minds after they see these gorgeous homes.”

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