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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.
SM_Piedmont Retreat3 copy
“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

“Rank Residence” Receives Merit AIA North Carolina Award

“Rank Residence” Receives Merit AIA North Carolina Award

t1102-Rank_2September 26, 2015 (Durham, NC) The Rank Residence or “House for a Rockstar,” received the 2015 Merit Award during the American Institute of Architects North Carolina Chapter Design and Chapter Awards Gala hosted at Durham’s 21c Hotel.

The residence, designed and constructed by Tonic and completed in 2012, was built with a modern-gothic feel and features unique, tall vertical spaces. The windows provide the desired privacy while playing on the idea of “arrow loop” windows, which once provided protection for archers inside gothic castles.

On the ground floor, the four-car garage provides room for his muscle cars and dragster. The eleven foot tall concrete entry stair provides access to the home’s main level and its triple height living space. The upper two levels contain bedrooms, a library, and a studio where the musician can write and record his music.
Find out more.

The residence has also been recognized in Dwell Magazine and the News & Observer and was awarded the 2013 George Matsumoto First Prize as well as the 2013 AIA Triangle Merit Award.

2018-11-05T15:58:12+00:00September 26th, 2015|0 Comments

Tonic Takes Home A "Hat Trick" and Top Honors from the 2014 Matsumoto Prize

For a seemingly simple house that accomplishes many tasks.

Interior/exterior of the Smart-Stell house. Photo by Todd Lanning.

Interior/exterior of the Smart-Stell house. Photo by Todd Lanning.

In hockey it’s called a hat trick, in horse racing a trifecta, and in bowling a turkey.
For Tonic Design + Tonic Construction of Raleigh, NC, it’s the third time in a row that their work has received top honors in the annual Matsumoto Prize for Modernist residential design across the state, sponsored by the non-profit organization North Carolina Modernist Houses.
On Thursday night, July 17, Tonic’s partners Vincent Petrarca and Katherine Hogan, AIA, received First Place in the Jury Awards category for the Smart-Stell House, a 2400-square-foot, single-story house they designed and built on a lakefront property in Durham, NC. The award came with a check for $3000.

This was Tonic’s second consecutive First Place prize. Last year, the firm’s Rank Residence in Pittsboro received First Place in the Jury Awards category. In 2013, a house they designed and built in Greenville, the Walters Residence, received Third Place in NCMH’s awards program, which is named for George Matsumoto, FAIA, a Modernist master and a founding faculty member of the NC State University School of Design.
Owned by George Smart and Eleanor Stell, this year’s award-winning house overlooks a lake on one side and a non-descript neighborhood on the other. Tonic’s main challenge was to maximize the view of the lake while still providing a comfortable living space inside. The solution was extensive glazing on the side facing the lake and a hockey stick-shaped roof structure fabricated of wood beams and steel plate. This composite structure, designed with the help of the North Carolina Solar Center, supports an Ipe trellis. The size and spacing of the trellis’ slats ensure that direct sunlight is blocked during the summer but allowed to enter and warm the main living volume in the winter.

Jury organizer Frank Harmon, FAIA, presented the award to Petrarca and Hogan and shared comments from the professional jury, which included accomplished architects from New York, Massachusetts, and California:

“This is a seemingly simple plan…that accomplishes many complex tasks…They liked the quiet, private side of the house facing the neighborhood and the open, informal side of the house facing the lake. They admired the deep [roof] overhang facing the sun and views, and the clerestory that brings light from the street side into the living room while maintaining privacy. Here is a building that responds to the phenomena of the site. And in its openness, simplicity, use of materials, textures, structure, and solar aspects, it is exemplary of the best aspects of mid-century Modernism.”

“Needless to say, we’re honored and thrilled to receive a Matsumoto Prize again this year,” said Petrarca. “We would like to thank North Carolina Modernist Houses for continuing to sponsor an awards program that focuses so sharply on Modern homes in a state that’s dominated by traditional design.”

For more information on NCMH and the annual Matsumoto Prize, visit www.ncmodernist.org.
For more information on Tonic Design + Tonic Construction and the Smart-Stell House, visit www.tonic-design.com.

2018-11-07T03:04:58+00:00July 21st, 2014|0 Comments

Residential Architect Magazine Names Raleigh Firm 2013’s "Rising Star"

Residential Architect Magazine Names Raleigh Firm 2013’s “Rising Star”

Vinny Petrarca and Katherine Hogan receive one of the national journal’s VP, KH_sm.jpbannual Leadership Awards.


October 17, 2013 (Raleigh, NC) – Last weekend, Residential Architect Magazine presented home designers Vinny Petrarca and Katherine Hogan, partners in the Raleigh-based firm Tonic Design + Tonic Construction, with its 2013 Rising Star Leadership Award. The presentation took place during a luncheon held at the Wyndham Hotel in San Francisco, CA, as part of the annual Reinvention Symposium sponsored by Residential Architect’s publisher, Hanley Wood.

Since Tonic was founded in 2003, the design-build firm has completed a steady stream of private residences, many of which have received design awards from the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) South Atlantic Region, AIA North Carolina, AIA Triangle, and other design awards programs.

In 2006, Tonic’s dramatic rehabilitation/renovation of a mid-century house in Raleigh, the Chiles Residence, made the final list for World Architecture News’ “House of the Year.”

In 2005, a kitchen design-build project received a Merit Award from Custom Homes magazine.

In 2008, the Chiles Residence received a Custom Homes Merit Award. In 2009 the same project received one of Raleigh, NC’s Sir Walter Raleigh Appearance Commission awards.

In 2010, a house Tonic designed and built for a family in Greenville, NC, received AIA North Carolina’s Gail Lindsey Award for sustainability.

And this year, the “Modern Gothic” house Tonic designed and built in Pittsboro, NC, for a local recording artist received First Prize in the George Matsumoto Prize competition sponsored by NC Modernist Houses (www.ncmodernist.org).

Tonic Design + Tonic Construction has also received high honors for non-residential work. The shelter structure the firm designed and built for the North Carolina’s Museum of Art’s Sculpture Garden, entitled “Art as Shelter,” has received five design awards, including the national AIA’s 2010 Small Project Award for “Architecture in the Public Interest.”

In the article on this year’s Rising Star Award, contributor Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson points out that “Petrarca, 41, and Hogan, 32, don’t bring a signature sensibility to their work. Each residence presents an entirely distinctive vision, which, it turns out, is the connective tissue of Tonic….What threads through every Tonic project is a reverence for material, a respect for the site and the budget, and what Hogan calls a ‘modern sensitivity.’”

Residential Architect has also published Tonic’s private residences on several occasions. And when the magazine launched a new video series that explores the importance of residential design and the value architects bring to the housing industry, the editors included an interview with Hogan and Petrarca.

Rising Star is one of three Leadership Awards the magazine presents each year along with its annual Design Awards. The Reinvention Symposium is the only high-level national conference devoted exclusively to the residential design professional. For more information on the magazine, go to www.residentialarchitect.com.

For more information on Tonic Design + Tonic Construction visit www.tonic-design.com.


2018-11-07T03:13:55+00:00October 18th, 2013|0 Comments

Tonic Design Takes Top Prize In Modernist Residential Design Competition

Tonic Design Takes Top Prize In Modernist Residential Design Competition

Raleigh design-build firm lands Jury’s and People’s Choice category

The Rank House received First Prize in the Jury Awards and Third Place in the People's Choice category. Photo courtesy of Raymond Goodman

The Rank House received First Prize in the Jury Awards and Third Place in the People’s Choice category. Photo
courtesy of Raymond Goodman


August 7, 2013 (Raleigh, NC) – The unusual “Modern Gothic” house designed and built by Tonic Design + Tonic Construction received the coveted First Prize in the professional Jury Awards category and Third Prize in the People’s Choice category during the second annual George Matsumoto Prize for modernist home design in North Carolina. The competition is sponsored by North Carolina Modernist Houses (formerly Triangle Modernist Houses).
The award-winning project is the new Rank Residence, the home of local music legend and recording artist Michael Rank and his young son. Featured recently in the Raleigh News & Observer, the flat-roofed, four-story, 3200-square-foot house satisfies the homeowner’s fascination with tall vertical spaces and staircases. The exterior is comprised of concrete and black standing-seam metal siding. Narrow vertical windows, placed within the metal seams, recall notes in sheet music, add to the house’s verticality while allowing for fast, affordable construction.
On the ground floor, a four-car garage provides room for Rank’s muscle cars and dragster. An eleven-foot-tall concrete entry staircase leads up to the home’s main level and triple-height main living space. Overhead, a network of black metal stairs and ramps lead to the rooms on the upper levels, including bedrooms, baths, a library, and a studio where the musician can write and record his music. As a design-build firm, Tonic served as both home designer and general contractor.

The jury liked stairs as the connecting factor between the house's volumes. Photo by Raymond Goodman

The jury liked stairs as the connecting factor between the house’s volumes. Photo by Raymond Goodman

“The jury liked the use of the stair as an ordering element because it formed the connective tissue of the design,” reported jury chairman Frank Harmon, FAIA, during the awards presentations held recently in the AIA NC Center for Architecture & Design in Raleigh. “They thought the interior spatial clarity was compelling. They admired the designers’ creative response to the program for a father-son dwelling, and for the homage paid to the client’s music.”

Tonic’s co-owners Vinny Petrarca and Katherine Hogan received the $3000 cash prize for First Place in the Jury category, presented by North Carolina Modernist Houses, a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting modernist residential design in North Carolina.

For more information on Tonic Design + Tonic Construction and the Rank Residence, visit www.tonic-design.com.


2018-11-07T03:17:06+00:00August 7th, 2013|0 Comments

Raleigh Designer Vinny Petrarca To Serve On National Awards Jury

Raleigh Designer Vinny Petrarca To Serve On National Awards Jury

Tonic Design + Tonic Construction principal will help select the 2013

Vinny Petrarca, Tonic Design + Tonic Construction

Vinny Petrarca, Tonic Design + Tonic Construction

Builder’s Choice and Custom Home Design awards winners.
Award-winning designer Vinny Petrarca, a principal in the design/build firm Tonic Design + Tonic Construction in Raleigh, has been selected to serve as a juror for the 2013 Builder’s Choice and Custom Home Design Awards, a national competition sponsored by Custom Homes and Builder magazines, both Hanley Wood LLC publications.
In her invitation to participate on the jury, Shelley Hutchins, senior editor for both Builder and Custom Home magazines, noted Petrarca’s “expertise in design and sustainability.”

Petrarca and his firm have been recipients of Custom Home Design Awards twice: in 2005 for Tonic’s McCowan Kitchen project and in 2008 for the Chiles Residence.
“It is such an honor to be invited to serve as a juror for this national competition,” Petrarca said. “I’m also looking forward to being able to see some of the finest work by some of the finest architects and designers across the country.”
This year, the Hanley Wood awards program combines formerly separate programs – Custom Home Design Awards, Builder’s Choice awards, and the EcoHome awards — into one competition.
According to Hutchins, the new program received 600 entries this year, so judging will take place over two days, June 17-18, in the Hanley Wood offices at One Thomas Circle in downtown Washington, D.C.

The judging is blind and based on the architectural merit of the entries. The jury will make its selections independent of the Builder and Custom Home editorial staff, and will select Grand and Merit award winners in 27 categories of residential design and planning. The jury will also select a Best Project of the Year from among the Grand award-winning built entries.

The winning entries will be featured in the Fall 2013 issue of Custom Home and the October 2013 issue of Builder. (To see the winners from last year’s Custom Home competition: http://www.customhomeonline.com/houses/award-winning/custom-home-design-awards.aspx.)

Along with Petrarca, the 2013 jury will include: George Fritz of Horizon Builders; Steve James of DTJ Design; Rene Oehlerking of Garbett Homes; Michael Pyatok of  Pyatok Architects; and Teresa Rosano of Ibarra Rosano Design Architects.

Tonic Design + Tonic Construction has received 26 design awards from 2005 to today. For more information visit www.tonic-design.com.

2018-11-07T03:22:16+00:00May 31st, 2013|0 Comments

INFORM: "Clearly _ Here: Raleigh, NC"

Audio Buy redux

The 2012 Inform Awards jury recognized this project by Tonic Design for its object design excellence.
For the first 14 years of its life, what is now the Audio Buys Building stood as a symbol of the future in downtown Raleigh. The sleek Modern building, originally built in the mid-’60s, housed one of the most progressive drycleaners in the country. Displayed in the mostly glass façade was a collection of mechanized machinery designed to transport, clean, and press garments in North Carolina’s capital…READ MORE…

2012-05-21T19:16:46+00:00May 21st, 2012|0 Comments

METRO MAGAZINE: "Design Excellence and Constant Advocacy"

May 2010
By Diane Lea
…The last Built project for the [AIA Triangle] Merit Awards is the GREENville House by Tonic Design of Raleigh. This project also honors Lindsey. Constructed in Greenville for owners Bobby and Kristi Walters, the consultants include Richard Kaydos-Daniels of Raleigh, Southern Energy Management of Morrisville, and the NCSU North Carolina Solar Center. Tonic’s Vincent Petrarca describes the house, characterized by individual bars, as “being built to track the sun as it stretches away from its own shadow.” The roof utilizes thermoplastic membrane and a system of solar thermal and photovoltaic panels… READ MORE…

2010-05-20T18:38:29+00:00May 20th, 2010|0 Comments

Raleigh's Tonic Design + Tonic Construction with Mike Cindric Receive AIA Triangle Design Award

The sculptural pavilion

April 21, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – Tonic Design | Tonic Construction with Mike Cindric are recipients of  a 2009 AIA Triangle Award for their “Art As Shelter” project. The project was selected from a large pool of entries representing work from architectural firms throughout the Triangle region.
Designed and built specifically as an integral component of the North Carolina Museum of Art Park’s “art-in-service” projects program, “Art as Shelter” offers visitors a sheltered place to sit and reflect upon the museum sculpture park and public greenway. The pavilion can be viewed as an object in the landscape or experienced from within, framing views of the sculptures, trail and the adjacent prairie.
Large interior clear spans promote the use as an open-air classroom, a beautiful indoor/outdoor setting for teaching about art and nature. Docent-led student groups utilize the space as a studio; where folding tables, folding stools, and art-making materials are stored in frosted-acrylic clad boxes that double as benches and night time illumination. The metallic “skin” of the pavilion reflects its natural surroundings by taking on the colors of the grass and sky, or at times completely disappearing into a moiré pattern of light and shadow.
Tonic Design and Tonic Construction have won several American Institute of Architect awards at the local, state and regional levels and have been featured in Dwell, Residential Architect, and Custom Home magazines. Recently Tonic Construction has been named the preferred builder for the New American Home Development, which will feature the designs of twelve local architects. For more information visit www.tonic-design.com.

2009-04-21T00:06:01+00:00April 21st, 2009|0 Comments