Original Dwell House Now at Auction

General / People / Places / October 31, 2016

A modernist prefab home – winner of a Dwell design competition a decade ago – is up for auction.

The 2,160 square-foot home is sited atop a hill on nine acres near Pittsboro, N.C., on the edge of the Triangle in Raleigh/Durham/Hill.

It earned distinction as the first-ever Dwell House.

Designed by Joseph Tanney and Resolution: 4 Architecture out of New York, it was the firm’s first modern prefab project. They’ve since built at least 100.

“They’re pioneers of prefabricated modern space,” says Nathan Wieler, the home’s original owner. “They won because my wife and I selected their home as the best fit for the site and program we created and a panel assembled by Dwell agreed.”

The home was slipped into a hilly site at the end of a winding road, to overlook Robeson Creek. “It’s up on a ridge, and backs up to preserved land – it’s part of the Jordan Lake watershed,” he says.

The modules were manufactured in Salisbury, N.C. and shipped on five flatbeds to the site, where they were assembled. More than 2,000 people toured the home, which was featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

“One of the things that was helpful to us was that it was factory-built – but more than 20 corporate sponsors were involved – Jenn Air, Apple, Microsoft, and Herman Miller,” he said. “That was helpful because they either donated or provided greatly discounted products – in kind donations.”

All the while, Wieler was assembling a 200-acre package of land around it for a proposed modern prefab housing community. Before he could get started, though, he received an offer he couldn’t refuse. “We had the opportunity to sell,” he says.

And not just to anyone – but to the proposed developers of Chatham Square, a 7,000-acre development that soon will transform the area from small town to suburbia. That means that the new owners of the Dwell House will likely enjoy the best of both worlds – a rural retreat adjacent to the best that contemporary life can offer.

Bids are due by November 15 at Auction First Bid.

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Michael Welton




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1 Comment

on October 31, 2016

300 people toured the Original Dwell house this past Saturday. They crawled over every inch of it to admire design choices and discuss changes in prefab design over the last 10 years.

This is the house that started the modern pre-fab revolution. Hope a new owner is found who understands and admires it’s legacy.



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