2016 AIA Triangle Home Tour

The AIA triangle area in NC plans a home tour every year,

Please check out the website;   www.aiatriangletour.com 

The experience of being a member of the jury for the 2016 AIA triangle home tour was inspiring, fun and educational.

The hosts were gracious and we toured all the submitted projects and more, places with beautiful architecture, that the local architects were proud of.

We often get calls from potential clients who are not aware of the value and the content of architectural work, they just want drawings.

This tour of homes clearly showed how an architect can optimize and enrich a project be that small or large.

I saw great examples of excellent site design, innovative material use and very unique spatial arrangements.

It is a great inspiration always to discover again and again what an architect can do and how they can contribute to the experience of living and to the value of the place with a good design. 

In 2016 the tour was on Saturday, October 8th, 9AM – 5PM.

Three jurors were invited from different areas of the state in August to tour ten submitted homes and select the ones that will be in the tour. The jurors are:


Alice Dodson, Architect in Greater Asheville North Carolina

Alice Dodson Architect, P.A. AIA

Michael Ross Kersting, P.A.
Michael Ross Kersting, P.A.


D. Jason Miller, AIA, NCARB
D. Jason Miller, AIA, NCARB

A successful design will combine and respond to the characteristics of the environment and the objectives of the owners in a sensitive and a creative way. The environment for a home design may be urban or rural setting, yet bringing nature close to us is always a comforting goal. The objectives or requirements of the owner include proper functionality and use of spaces, pleasing detailing and material selection and appropriate budget that fits a certain life style.


Homes that are well integrated with the site will exhibit the sense that the house belongs there. The indoors have a strong relationship with the outdoors, creating a connection with the natural environment, may that be the yard, a garden, the forest or a large track of land around the home or in some cases just a balcony.

On this tour there are great examples of how to correspond to the outdoors:

  • At Ten at S. Person the connection is a balcony.
  • The Hermitage court home is sited in a clever way, that visually expands the sense of space and garden in front and behind the house, even borrows the neighbor’s sculpture.
  • The Love addition integrates a well established unique garden, transitioning from indoor to screened porch to open deck to garden.
  • The Morrison residence transitions from an area to its own intimate enclosed garden space before arriving to the open land and has a variety of outdoor spaces, including patios, decks, Japanese gardens and forest.
  • The Hillcrest residence organizes the house around an indoor courtyard and has enough space for a small outdoor back yard as well.


When the client and the architect collaborate on a project, they review and redefine a lifestyle. In this process questions of how to live, spatial priorities, and economy will be addressed.

In this home tour there is a wide variety of projects that showcases a range of possibilities:

  • condominium living in a compact, efficient space
  • single family homes, some with green features for sustainable living
  • an integrated expansion to an existing home
  • uniquely new expressions and experiences in a home.


With a clever design it is possible to overcome the limitations of a budget or the limitations of a site, or in some situation the design can utilize the generosity of a particular site or budget. In this tour one can see examples for both and in between.

  • The small townhouse can feel just as comfortable with a good flow of space as a large single family home.
  • The Hillcrest house is an example for a “state of the art” design and construction, where the architect had the opportunity to incorporate cutting edge sustainable technologies and materials:  PV panels, geothermal system, rainwater collection system from the roof decks and reusing the rainwater for flushing toilets, doing laundry or watering the yard. 
  • The unique and humble use of materials at the Morrison residence exhibits a very personal attitude, where the owner wanted the expression of humility and imperfection in the house. On a very reasonable budget we experience a unique freshness and excitement with this concept of spatial connections and the use of natural materials.
  • The elegant functionality and spaciousness of the Hermitage Court residence shows an optimal use of materials and space on a reasonable budget.
  • The Love addition shows how to expand an existing house with respect and sensitivity.