Among our portfolio of customizable Micropolis® House plans, the Tadpole plan offered everything that Mike Wolfe, a former member of the U.S. Army's Special Ops forces, wanted for his new home. At only 900 square feet, it would make a modest impact on the forested site he chose between Chapel Hill and Hillsborough before the Pandemic (a section of family-owned property). And like all Micropolis® houses, the Tadpole was designed to be net zero -- to generate as much energy as it uses. To achieve that functionality on this site, we connected the house to a solar array in a nearby field.
Spatially, the little house that Mike has renamed "The Jewel Box," includes a U-shaped, super-efficient kitchen, which is open to the dining/living core. It also features Mike's bedroom; another bedroom-turned-study; an elegant bathroom; and three means of extending the interior living space outdoors: a roof terrace, a south-facing lanai; and a screened porch.
Another element of all the Micropolis® houses: The Tadpole is decidedly modern, which makes its architectural vocabulary an ideal backdrop for Mike's collection of iconic modern furniture. He acquired his passion for modern architecture and furniture design, he said, while he was stationed throughout Europe and the Middle East, where he stayed in fine accommodations, thanks the Army's attitude towards members of its most elite forces, and his keen observations of the built environment around him.
When we discussed Mike's wants and needs for his future home, he decided to purchase the plans for the Tadpole and build it as designed with few, if any, customizations. Then he hired green home builder Kevin Murphy of Newphire Building in Chapel Hill to construct the house, knowing that Kevin has built many of the modern, net zero houses we've designed throughout the Triangle in various sizes and scopes. He did enlist our help, however, with color choices. Inspired by Mike's notion that the little house is a "jewel box," we suggested jewel tones for the interior: sapphire for his bedroom, emerald for the bath, and amber for his study.
Mike Wolfe is a man of the world -- just a very cool guy. His passion for design and his commitment to environmental sustainability are the true gems in the crown of "The Jewell Box."
"We really did make a great team and achieved a fabulous result together." ~ homeowner Mike Wolfe.