Carrboro, North Carolina
Estimated completion: August 2019
Owners: Doug Pierson and Youn Choi
Architecture & Interiors: Doug Pierson, AIA, and Youn Choi, pod architecture + design, Carrboro, NC
Green Home Builder: Kevin Murphy, Newphire Building, Chapel Hill, NC
Structural Engineer: Rob Munach, Excel Engineering, Carrboro;
Lumber Supplier: Fitch Lumber & Hardware, Carrboro, NC
Stone Masonry: Stonehenge Masonry and Adams/Oldcastle Products, both Youngsville, NC
Metal Cladding Supplier: Sales Manufacturing Corp., Mocksville, NC
Radiant flooring expert: Mike Torville, Carrboro, NC
Residential, New Construction
The project is a new, modern, three-bedroom, three-bath home of approximately 2500 square feet for experiential graphics designer Youn Choi, award-winning architect Doug Pierson, AIA, and their two children.
The site the couple chose poses a host of challenges. A 1.2-acre swatch within a 12-acre preserved wooded area, it came with a year-round 100-foot creek setback, an oddly shaped buildable area, a steep hillside, dense forest coverage, and it’s adjacent to a flood plain.
Yet Pierson and Choi don’t see those issues as limiting. They see them as inspirational, choosing to honor the unique site by letting it suggest the form of the house while leaving the meadow there undisturbed. As a result, the house will be partially embedded it into the wooded hillside and open to the meadow and creek at the lower elevations.
Their design follows the contours of the usable land on site and reflects the climb in elevation: The form hops up to the higher elevation then anchors itself back to the top.
In keeping with their desire to build the house as sustainably as possible, the partners are reusing the Southern yellow pine trees that must be felled by having them milled locally then returned to the site to be repurposed as cabinetry and architectural woodwork.
According to the design, the house will be a composition of sleek, rectilinear forms, at once soaring and grounded. Huge expanses of glass will frame views of the meadow, forest, and creek and allow natural light to flood the interior. The foundation and retaining walls will be polished concrete block. A terrace on the upper level will have glass overlook guardrails.