Modernism's crisp lines and ornament-free surfaces bear little resemblance to Gothic architecture's gingerbread house–like flourishes. But in the North Carolina residence belonging to a musician and his son, Medieval structures informed the contemporary design. Michael Rank approached Raleigh-based firm Tonic to create a house that emphasized his love of tall, vertical spaces and staircases. A professional musician, Rank also requested space for a recording studio. Privacy was paramount as was room for his collection of art and muscle cars. Tonic took all the requirements and delivered a thoughtfully planned two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house at about $200 per square foot.
In Pittsboro, North Carolina, design-build firm Tonic contstructed a four-story, 3,200-square-foot residence for a musician and his son. By using, a philosophy of "construction-led design" to inform the structure's details, the firm was able to realize the design for $200 per square foot. Located on a 60-acre plot of land, the house features green elements like a small foorprint, bamboo flooring, Energy Star appliances, natural daylighting, an efficient HVAC system, and operable windows for cross ventilation.
Resident Michael Rank wanted the house to be divided into distinct zones for provacy. Tonic broke the interior volume into a section for Rank, a separate area for his son, and a common living area. Catwalks and staricases bridge the zones.
Tonic selected factory-finished standing-seam metal roofing to clad the upper two floors; the base is concrete. The vertical lines allude to a music staff and the tall, narrow windows suggest arrow loops found in Gothic castles. Tonic used off-the-shelf windows to fit within the grooves. A local roofing company installed the siding, which helped keep costs down. "We used one the of the best roofing companies in the area to install the reflective roof and also asked them to install the siding. The company has been around for decade and we knew they owned all of their equipment," says Tonic co-owner Vinny Petrarca. "Since our siding was going up four-stories high, any other siding subcontractor would have to charge more because they'd have to rent complex equipment. To build anything for $200 per square foot, you need to get the maximum return on your investment. Minimizing the use of subcontractors is one way to get better quality at an affordable price."
Natural light floods the interior and a network of metal stairs—reminiscent of an MC Escher drawing—is suspended overhead. The interior palette is white, black, and gray—the owners favorite colors.
Artwork rests on ledges so that Rank can display his collection without drilling screws into the wall or fussing with hooks.