Winter greetings from Ellen Cassilly Architect


Pie Pushers

In our last newsletter, we showed the beginnings of what would become the new Pie Pushers space above the Pinhook. It is now completed and the restaurant is open! Grab a slice of pizza and visit the wonderful new space (or the walk-up window!) soon. See Becky in the window during the Durham Holiday Parade. Many thanks to the folks at Gateway Construction  for a job well done.


Rock Bottom: NCSU Students @ NCMA

Our class of students in the North Carolina State University  College of Design, Design/Build summer studio have done it again. They have created another fabulous place to work and learn at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) . The space, Rock Bottom, functions as both a shed for garden tools for their volunteer gardeners and an outdoor classroom. NCMA said it met and exceeded their expectations! When you pull into the museum's new entrance you will pass Rock Bottom in the New Discovery Garden as you walk to the museum.

Piedmont Prairie Classroom at Sarah P. Duke Gardens

One of the wonderful things about working for the folks at Duke Gardens is the long range planning they do. Instead of being intimidated by a project that is complicated and crosses over many seasons, they welcome it.  We worked closely with Stefan Bloodworth,  Curator, H.L. Blomquist Garden of Native Plants  and originator of the idea for this project since 2002, and  Annabel Renwick, who collected seeds from prairies across the Piedmont and cultivated seedlings. After the pine trees above the Bloomquist Garden were harvested the small "starts" were planted and got a one year head start on the outdoor classroom building. Meanwhile the pines were rough cut, dried and milled on site and eventually turned into the timbers to frame the structure. Peter Yeganian of Mulberry Construction rose to the challenge of the splayed column layout and sloped roof ridge. I love the way it is perched near the top of the rise of the hill and peeks out above the Joe Pye Weed.

Meintjes Berliner Guest House and Study


This  small, 540 s.f., guest house, studio, and study will work perfectly for visiting guests from afar, occasional recording sessions and as a full time library/study. The curved roof form comes from two sources. The first is the lovely arc of the Mbira, the instrument of choice for this ethnomusicologist, and secondly from ribs of the pilot whale skeleton that will soon hang from the curved beams.  Hopefully we will have the installation complete by the next newsletter and can show it to you. This was our first project with Riverbank Construction and we hope that it is the first of many. 

Tiny opening soon

Jennings Brody, owner of Parker & Otis and Chet Miller, has now opened a third shop, Tiny, where we had the privilege of designing not only the space but also the furniture. It was beautifully crafted by Matt Thompson of Thompson Joinery. Tiny features clothing, books, and toys for babies and children. It's located at 118 West Parrish Street, right next to Chet Miller.  Tiny will open in January.

Welcome Megan

We're excited to welcome Megan Patnaik to the ECA team! Megan comes to ECA with ten years of diverse experience ranging from residential design, construction management, commercial interior design, and community based design. Prior to coming on board she led residential architectural projects from design inception through construction. Her journey in design began during her undergrad studies at University of North Carolina in Greensboro in their Interior Architecture program. After working in the commercial world of interior design for several years, she  graduated in 2010 with a Masters of Architecture from NC State University’s School of Design, where she was the recipient of the David Allen Company Fellowship Scholarship. 

Wishing you all a joyous holiday season and fabulously designed new year,

Ellen, Esther, Keith, Meredith, Megan, Jessina and Niña

Photos by Jonathan Danforth, Ellen Cassilly, Meredith Pittman,Frank Konhaus, and Jessina Leonard
Header image looking down on Budapest.
Copyright © 2016 Ellen Cassilly Architect, All rights reserved.
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