The Elephant in the Room

I don't like to tell people my maiden name.  I'm proud of it because I love my family, but I prefer people hire me who have never heard the name "Condoret."

 

Yes, Jon Condoret (1934-2010), the transplanted Algerian architect who designed many celebrated Modernist homes in North Carolina’s Triangle region, was my father. He was responsible for awakening my passion for architecture, especially architecture that brought the natural world into homes, that embraced the principles of passive solar design, and that used textures and materials in delightfully surprising ways.

 

But he was not just a great architect. He was not just my Dad. He was also my best friend and mentor and one of the kindest people I’ve ever known. He was a delightful man with an infectious laugh, full of love for his family and his profession.

 

It was with that joy that Jon Condoret designed whatever his clients desired, including Fearrington Village in Chatham County. With amazing skill and keen attention to detail, he created projects Modern and otherwise that his clients have loved for decades.

 

I learned more than I can ever say from my Dad. And for a while now, I’ve followed his directive of designing whatever a good client wants, whether that’s a light-filled Modernist house or a traditional farmhouse. (I’ve never been asked to design Italianate villas or faux French chateaux, as he was!) 

 

I always joked that "I popped out of the womb a raging modernist."  Yet I went to architecture school in the Eighties.   

At that time, Modern architecture fell out of favor. But I never fell out of love with it. 

 

Modernism provides the ethos with which I can design clean, clear, open spaces that make my clients smile when they wake up in the morning and again when they come home after a hectic day. 

 

Modernist houses support the casual, informal way we actually live without wasting space on “formal” rooms (living, dining). 

 

And Modern architecture is the perfect catalyst for energy-efficient, eco-friendly design: flat roofs + photovoltaic cells, deep roof overhangs + walls of glass, narrow footprint + natural ventilation and lighting all the way through a house or building, etc.

 

I’ve always been, and will continue to be, a Modern architect.

 

I have always been, and will forever be, Jon Condoret’s daughter.

 

And I’m proud as hell of both.

 

***

 

 

 

Below are links to my Dad's special page on North Carolina Modernist Houses' permanent archive:

 

NCMH Archive: Jon Andre Condoret:  

http://www.ncmodernist.org/condoret.htm

 

If you are interested, here is the memorial video I made in his honor:

Arielle C. Schechter, AIA  / T 919-933-1400 / F 919-933-0102 / E acsarchitect@icloud.com © 2013 by Arielle C. Schechter

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