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The 2016 winners in the annual George Matsumoto Prize modernist house contest

Another view of Ciel 10, an Asheville house built on a series of cantilevered blocks to maximize the mountain views. The house was designed by Jason Well of Retro+Fit Design in Asheville. It won third place in the people’s choice category in the 2016 George Matsumoto Prize contest.
Another view of Ciel 10, an Asheville house built on a series of cantilevered blocks to maximize the mountain views. The house was designed by Jason Well of Retro+Fit Design in Asheville. It won third place in the people’s choice category in the 2016 George Matsumoto Prize contest. David Dietrich Photography

On Thursday, N.C. Modernist Houses announced the winners of its annual statewide modernist residential design contest.

The big winner of the 2016 George Matsumoto Prize contest is Will Alphin of Alphin Design Build. Alphin took home the first-place prize in the juried competition for a four-level house in Raleigh’s Cameron Park neighborhood. That house, 123 Hillcrest, a 6,200-square-foot house valued at about $1.6 million, also won second place in the people’s choice category. Alphin received $3,000 in prize money.

Following close behind were designers with the in situ studio in Raleigh, whose designs placed second and third in the juried competition.

N.C. Modernist Houses is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving and celebrating the state’s modernist architecture. It now operates the largest open digital archive for modernist residential design in the country at ncmodernist.org.

The nonprofit created the contest in 2012 to honor George Matsumoto, one of the founding faculty members of N.C. State University’s School of Design, who designed some of North Carolina’s best-known and best-loved modernist houses. Matsumoto, now based in Oakland, Calif., is the honorary chair of the jury.

The other winners include:

▪ The jury’s second-place winner was awarded to Erin Sterling Lewis and Matthew Griffith of in situ studio in Raleigh for the Corbett Residence in Bahama, N.C. The low-slung black box of a house is a striking site across the landscape, mimicking the horizon. The firm received $2,000.

▪ In situ studio’s Lewis and Griffith also took home the jury’s third-place prize for the Medlin residence in Raleigh. The compact L-shaped home creates a courtyard between the house and a hillside. The firm received $1,000.

▪ In the people’s choice category, online voters gave first place honors to the Blauhaus residence in Winston-Salem, which was designed by architect Adam Sebastian of Stitch Design Shop. The gable-roofed house gives a nod to the owner’s home in Germany.

▪ Third place in the people’s choice category went to Asheville’s Ciel 10, a dramatic house built on a series of cantilevered blocks to maximize the mountain views. The house is one of the custom-built homes in the Ciel community on 117 acres near Asheville. The house was designed by Jason Well of Retro+Fit Design in Asheville.

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