Project Description

2008 Sir Walter Raleigh Award

2008 AIA North Carolina, Merit Award

2009 Inform Award

2009 AIA Triangle, Merit Award

2009 AIA South Atlantic Region, Honor Award

2010 AIA National Small Projects Award

Construction: Tonic Construction

Architect: Tonic Design with Mike Cindric

Art as Shelter

Why We Build

We have tried, but we can’t stop building. Working with our hands or borrowing the hands of others has allowed us to see and learn in ways we could not by sitting at a desk. The insights and lessons of the jobsite transform us and our design work.

We believe that the act of making is fundamental to our design approach. In order to be innovative in our context we see architecture and construction as a seamless process. Working backwards is our methodology. We use construction as a filter and as a generator. We explore many alternative paths in the early design phases and then jump to job site thinking in order to visualize how something will be made and constructed( CA) How we are going to construct? What is the time frame and cost? Who are potential subcontractors? We then back feed this knowledge into the design. Materials and wall section are critical to any design; this is where we establish a tectonic language, explore materials and how they are assembled. Each proposed direction has an embedded DNA that comes from lessons learned in the field.

As many of our clients say, design build is not a conflict of interest, but instead a method of creating total accountability. Our approach is rooted in craft and construction and we like to take creative ownership of all phases of the work. There are time and cost savings inherent in the design build process as well as an efficiency and effectiveness that comes from the same firm leading a project through the process.

Since 2003 tonic construction has developed specific strategies to produce creative alternatives for a design project within a specific client budget. Constraints are good. We have realized many high-quality design projects within the economic context of our place.

We focus on craft and quality final products. Going fast can sacrifice craft.

We have completed a new house in as little as 9 months and managed projects that have taken up to 26 months. Each project is different and has a unique set of variables.

While our firm size has ranged from a crew of multiple project managers and staff we have chosen to be an intentionally small (even with a booming economy), husband and wife, architecture and construction practice in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Being lean has allowed us to therefore focus on fewer projects at a higher level of quality.  We do not require a full-time on-site project manager for each project. Instead we take that cost and put it back into the architecture.

We can take on 2.5 construction projects per year. As we have evolved we realize that we can’t build everything, nor do we need to build everything. We can be specific about the projects we take on and focus on completing a few projects really well.