It’s time to vote in the 2022 Matsumoto Prize for Excellence in Residential Design – People’s Choice Awards!

If you will please go to and vote for our unique, modern, sustainable, custom home owned by and designed by
Youn Choi and Doug Pierson
of pod architecture + design.
Thank you!

DesignNews, April 2022

“Hillside House,” the modern, metal-clad home of College of Design lecturer Doug Pierson, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, and his family is featured in the April print and online editions of Metal Architecture magazine. Pierson and his wife, experiential designer Youn Choi, are the founding partners of pod architecture + design in Chapel Hill and designed the house together.

METAL ARCHITECTURE: “Box-rib Metal Panels Wrap House on Hillside”

A metal-clad, cantilevered house leverages its wooded location.

by Christopher Brinkerhoff, Associate Editor

Zig zagging down a hillside in Carrboro, N.C., a black-clad house blends into a wooded site. The home is the vision of partners and design duo Douglas Pierson and Youn Choi, pod architecture + design PLLC, Chapel Hill, N.C.

The house comprises three forms that are connected. At their simplest, they are rectangles that connect to form a Z pattern, descending the slope of the hill toward a creek.

Corrugated metal panels give texture to the lengthy façades that are punctured by horizontal windows, which emphasize their length. To keep the lines clean, the architects specified limited trim. READ MORE

EATER CAROLINAS: “14 Most Anticipated Restaurants Across the Carolinas for 2022”

by Erin Perkins

While many restaurants shut down due to the pandemic across the country, chefs, restaurateurs, and investors in North and South Carolina are replacing the shuttered storefronts with new restaurants and bars at an increasing pace. As always, Eater is obsessively tracking the progression of all the premiers — from menu releases to newly installed signage, come here for the latest updates. This list encapsulates the places garnering excitement in 2022….

Designed by pod architecture + design of Chapel Hill, NC
(rendering by pod architecture + design)


Location: 712 Market Street in Southern Village
Key Players: Advanced sommelier Paula de Pano
Projected Opening: Spring 2022
Paula de Pano wants to open her shop and bar to challenge the notion of “wine bros” and the gatekeeping of wine culture. She plans on sourcing wines from wineries and winemakers that adhere to the same values she holds, namely sustainability, integrity, and, especially given today’s social climate, a commitment to diversity and equity. Customers can visit for a bottle or a glass with charcuterie and cheeses also available.

Click here to see the full list and more in EATER CAROLINAS.

Evaluating Masonry: Hillside House Becomes Case Study for NC State Architecture Students


Third-year students in the School of Architecture at NC State University were recently tasked with evaluating a “prominent masonry building” in the Triangle, a region rife with brick and stone academic and government buildings. Yet two students — Katie Tischer and Nick Sykes — chose instead to study the Choi-Pierson “Hillside House,” a modern, modestly sized residence in Carrboro designed by and for Doug Pierson, AIA, and Youn Choi of pod architecture + design in Chapel Hill.

Pierson is also a Professor in Practice at the NC State School of Architecture, College of Design. The narrow, angular, black metal-clad house is prominent in the Triangle for its unique character among the region’s existing architectural inventory, and for the national attention it has received, first in the Wall Street Journal and most recently in Green Building & Design magazine under the headline “How Hillside House Thrives in the Face of Challenging Terrain.”


Completed in 2020, the Choi-Pierson house was a viable case study for the students because its foundation and retaining walls are composed of concrete blocks. And the blocks’ passive assets — strength, durability, resistance to rot and pests, environmental sustainability, and contribution to the thermal mass — are vital for the house’s success as a high-performance structure.

Pierson also engineered the polished concrete block foundation to serve as an active contributor to the insulation of the building envelope, thus fulfilling the designers’ requirements for unprecedented function and design aesthetics.

In the documentation of their work, Tischer and Sykes located the masonry in the house’s plan, determined retaining and non-retaining use, identified the various types of concrete block types and the structural uses for each, and determined the CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit) relative to the thermal envelope.

The designers/homeowners enjoyed assisting them in their evaluation.

“Youn and I were happy to walk the students through the house,” Pierson said. “We dug up some old construction files to share with them and were reminded of how many different block shapes it takes to build exposed insulated masonry walls on a modern house. The students did a great job of showing all the shapes in a single comprehensive diagram.”

Adams/Oldcastle Masonry sponsored the evaluation program through the NCSU School of Architecture.

For more information on the Choi-Pierson house and pod architecture + design, visit