Out of the 19 entries in this fledgling residential design competition, six recently were awarded cash prizes totaling $6,000. The George Matsumoto Prize was created to recognize modernist single-family houses built in North Carolina in the past five years. Three winners were selected by an architectural panel while the other three honorees were ranked according to votes from more than 2,000 people. The jury of internationally renowned architects—who all create award-winning custom houses themselves—was chaired by Matsumoto, FAIA. Matsumoto helped found the architecture school at North Carolina State University and has designed several respected modernist houses throughout the state. Matsumoto was joined by Marlon Blackwell, AIA; Frank Harmon, FAIA; David Jameson, FAIA; Tom Kundig, FAIA; and Larry Scarpa, FAIA.
The jury found strong points in each of the entries and commented that “the quality and diversity of these designs indicate a healthy, vigorous climate for modern residential design in North Carolina,” They also noted what an honor it was to serve on a panel with the competition’s namesake. “His buildings are role models of clarity and strength,” said one juror, “where even the smallest detail…reflects the grace of the building as a whole.”