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Steel-Clad House in Duke Forest Receives 2018 AIA Triangle Honor Award

Steel-Clad House in Duke Forest Receives 2018 AIA Triangle Honor Award

Tonic Design Raleigh NC

Street-facing facade

Piedmont Retreat,” a modern, single-family home clad in Cor-Ton® steel, earned for Tonic Design of Raleigh, NC, one of only three Honor awards — and the only residential design among the three — in the 2018 AIA Triangle Design Awards. The awards were presented March 22 during a gala event at the Contemporary Art Museum in downtown Raleigh.
Partners in life and practice, Katherine Hogan, AIA, and Vincent Petrarca have now received 10 AIA Triangle Design Awards for the practice. This is their third honor award.

Tonic Design Raleigh NC

Rear elevation overlooking the forest.

According to the partners, the clients wanted their new house to have a modest public presence and a direct connection to their property’s wooded landscape within its cul-de-sac neighborhood on the edge of Durham within Duke Forest. They also wanted a private, comfortable, low-maintenance house that would blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces.
Minimal in form and materials, Piedmont Retreat’s steel exterior forms a protective barrier to the street and presents a humble profile to the neighborhood. This rugged, weathering skin will eventually find its final patina and blend into the landscape.

Piedmont Retreat-23 copy_0

Inside Tonic Design’s award-winning “Piedmont Retreat”

In contrast, the living spaces open to an array of shifting perspectival views within and throughout the house.
Alex Anmahian, AIA, founding partner of the internationally acclaimed firm AW in Cambridge, MA, served as chair of the all-Boston jury. Anmahian, who teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University GSD, announced the winners, noting that the jury admired Tonic Design’s “consistency of message” throughout the submission and the “restrained palette of materials and textures,” among other attributes.
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“We’re especially honored to have our work recognized by this year’s jury,” Hogan said, “all of whom are highly respected, practicing professors of architecture.”
Seven design awards were presented this year: three Honor and four Merit. Click here for more information on the 2018 AIA Triangle Design Awards. Click here for more information on Tonic Design.

2018-11-05T15:26:44+00:00March 26th, 2018|0 Comments

Crabill Modern Awarded AIA SAR Award

Crabill Modern Awarded AIA SAR Award

Photography by: Randy Thompson

The South Atlantic Region of the American Institute of Architects Recognizes 19 Projects for Design Excellence.
 Over 150 people celebrated the work of firms from Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina on September 30, 2016 at the SCAD Museum of Art in downtown Savannah, GA.
Tonic took home the Housing Award for their work on Crabill Modern.

“Extreme budget constraints often halt a project, but in this instance have produced amazing results.  Beautifully conceived, presented and executed, this project captured the jury’s imagination by virtue of its clarity and formal inventiveness,” noted the jury. “Especially striking is the use of analogous forms found in the surrounding contexts of landscape and agrarian structures. Constructed from the ground up for less than many renovation projects, this house extends a proposition beyond the limits of its own walls in working towards making well designed housing accessible to a greater percentage of the population.”

A total of 19 awards were presented to regional architecture firms in five categories: Adaptive Reuse/Preservation, Housing, Interior Architecture, Unrealized and New Construction/Substantial Renovation. Also presented were two Student Design Awards in recognition of excellent work by students enrolled in an architecture, interior design or urban design program in the South Atlantic region. In addition, the AIA SAR Council bestowed the 2016 Roger Milliken Legacy Award upon Paula Wallace, Hon. AIA, Founder and President of the Savannah College of Art and Design.

The design awards were presented by Steve Dumez, FAIA, Principal and Director of Design, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple in New Orleans, LA, who served as the 2016 SAR Design Awards Jury Chair.

2018-11-05T15:37:39+00:00October 5th, 2016|0 Comments

NCSU Adjunct Faculty Member Vincent Petrarca Receives ACSA Faculty Design Award

NCSU Adjunct Faculty Member Vincent Petrarca Receives ACSA Faculty Design Award

For a Modernist house designed and built by his firm Tonic Design +
Tonic Design + Tonic Construction

Vincent Petrarca

Tonic Construction


Vincent Petrarca, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Architecture at North Carolina State University’s College of Design and a founding partner of the Raleigh, NC-based design/build firm Tonic Design + Tonic Construction, has received a prestigious 2013-2014 Faculty Design Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) for his design of “Crabill Modern,” a Modernist, single-family house in Hillsborough, N.C.


Each year, the ACSA honors architectural educators for exemplary work in areas such as building design, community collaborations, scholarship, and service. 


The ASCA’s Faculty Design Awards honor built work that “advances the reflective nature of practice and teaching by recognizing and encouraging outstanding work in architecture and related environmental design fields as a critical endeavor,” according to the ACSA. Winning professors “inspire and challenge students, contribute to the profession’s knowledge base, and extend their work beyond the borders of academy into practice and the public sector.”


Petrarca explained the evolution of Crabill Modern’s award-winning design:


“We began with the most efficient and economical plan form: a rectangle with plan functions divided into quadrants. We then challenged and re-envisioned the box based on the patterns of use and lifestyle of the family. These transformations created a plan where the more important spaces grew larger. These moves began to push and pull the building’s protective skin, creating dynamic elevations. The resulting form was a simple box, protected and augmented by an inexpensive but highly articulated shell.”


That shell reflects the rural setting: Petrarca specified simple, inexpensive materials and references to regional agricultural structures that would be rendered in a modern architecture composition. Recalling old farm sheds, the house’s skewed cubic form is clad in solid and perforated COR-TEN®, a steel alloy that eliminates the need for painting. The steel forms a stable rust-like appearance as it weathers. As a result, the house will be a constantly evolving element in the landscape as a rich patina develops over the years. The COR-TEN also acts as a rain screen, canopy, sunshade, and visual screen.


Petrarca included a variety of energy conservation principles in the Crabill home. Consequently, the owners report that, even though this house is 800 feet larger than their previous home, their energy bills average 30 percent less.


Tonic Construction completed the home for $155 per square foot due in large part, Petrarca says, to the design/build process and readily available materials, including oak.


Vincent Petrara will receive the Faculty Design Award during the ASCA’s 102nd Annual Meeting, to be held in Miami Beach April 10-12, hosted by Florida International University.


For more information on the ASCA and the Educational Awards Program, visit www.acsa-arch.org.


For more information on Vincent Petrarca and his firm, visit www.tonic-design.com.


2018-11-07T03:11:15+00:00February 17th, 2014|0 Comments