Winners in the 2022 George Matsumoto Competition

General / People / Places / July 29, 2022

The votes are in from the public for the 2022 Matsumoto Prize from North Carolina Modernist Houses – and the jury was unanimous in its first-place choice.

The Domeck Residence in Chapel Hill by Thoughtcraft Architecture was the runaway winner in the jury’s eyes. Composed of a series of stitched-together, pitched-roof modules, it harkens back to the 1980s but it’s firmly grounded up here in 2022.

“It’s interesting that the jury’s top selection was a little more postmodern than we usually see – it’s beautifully handled and there’s a flat roof component that makes it more modern,” says George Smart, executive director at NCMH. “There was a very clear consensus on the Domeck Residence being the top one for its simplicity, detail, elegant siting, modular nature and different pavilions.”

The jury’s second-place choice went to the Hillside House in Asheville by Pavelchak Architecture; Third place was awarded to the Hillside House in Carrboro by pod architecture + design.

The public’s votes numbered about 2,000, and its choices were aligned toward an aesthetic that’s unlike the jury’s. “It’s a completely different selection because the architects are looking forward when they’re on a jury – for how something contributes to the field, to best practices, and to its environment,” he says. “The public is more interested how much it likes the colors, the materials, and whether they’d like to live there.”

The public’s first-place award went to the Hancock House in Winston-Salem, by Stitch Design Shop. Second place was awarded to Clear Blue in Wrightsville Beach by Kersting Architecture, and third place went to Garden on Eden in Chapel Hill by Keith Shaw Design.

All six were selected from a pool of 13 entries this year. NCMH has had as few as eight and as many as 19 in past competitions, so this year’s entries comes in right at mid-level. “There are so many competitions that architects can enter now, on the local, state, national and worldwide levels – and architects have to choose,” he says. “We’re the hometown favorite, and we’re now in our 11th year.”

The driving force behind the Matsumoto competition is NCMH’s desire to encourage clients and architects to continue the modern tradition in North Carolina, because it was so rich in the 1950s and ’60s.

And obviously, it’s successful at doing just that.

For more, go here.

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Michael Welton
I write about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications. I am the author of "Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand" (Routledge, 2015), and the former architecture critic for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.




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