Live On Wynne: Three New, Modern Houses To Reinvigorate Another Central Neighborhood in Downtown Raleigh

July 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

The Raleigh Architecture Co.


The Raleigh Architecture Company and Monarch Property Company have teamed up to design and build three new, modern, for-sale homes side by side on formerly empty lots within a re-emerging central neighborhood in downtown Raleigh.

The team calls the project Live On Wynne. The houses are located at 608, 612, and 614 Wynne Street near Chavis Memorial Park in what’s known as Olde East Raleigh.

The Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo), which works with its partner business The Raleigh Construction Company, is the same firm that introduced five modern, single-family, urban-infill houses on the 500 block of Edenton Street and New Bern Avenue in the Hungry Neck neighborhood, also just east of downtown. Each of those houses was designed on commission, however. The firm’s office and shop are located in the old Capital Tire building in the Warehouse District and both founding partners – Robby Johnston, AIA, and Craig Kerins, AIA – live in downtown Raleigh. (Johnston and his family live in one of the Edenton Street houses.)

Jason Queen of Monarch Property is a local developer who has dedicated his efforts to preserving the history and character of downtown Raleigh. He has extensive experience in renovating and preserving old existing homes in Raleigh’s central neighborhoods, from 1940s shotgun houses and early 1900s bungalows, to large, two-story homes built in the 1890s. His home and office are also in the downtown district.

As a partnership, Monarch and RACo say they are committed to creating “sustainable, preservation-conscious homes” that will endure for generations, enhance their owners’ quality of life, and help to reinvigorate the city’s old, urban communities.

“The Wynne Street homes are a manifestation of our shared vision to combine smart design with quality craftsmanship,” said Craig Kerins. “Modernist design is of our time, just as the 1940s shotgun houses also on adjacent streets were of their time. We’ve employed best current practices and technologies for construction because we intend for these houses to last for decades, just as those shotgun houses have.”

Like Johnston and Kerins, Monarch’s Jason Queen is passionate about downtown Raleigh to the point of becoming the inner city’s unofficial historian. “He knows the history, the property, and the people,” Kerins noted.

“I’m passionate about historic preservation,” Queen said, “but I want to preserve Raleigh’s history in a way that is relevant to its future.”

Now well under construction, the 1800-square-foot Wynne Street houses are two-story structures that will have open living/dining/kitchen spaces and a half bath on the first floor and three bedrooms plus two baths and a laundry room on the upper level. Large energy-efficient windows and skylights will flood the interiors with natural light. The kitchens will feature simple, modern, European-style cabinetry systems.

The RACo partners studied the neighborhood extensively to bring elements from it to the new houses. As a result, the houses are set back from the street the same distance as the existing houses nearby, and they include covered front porches that present a friendly “face” towards the neighborhood. Glass doors and covered second-floor balconies provide more private access to the backyard.

The Wynne Street houses will also feature a host of structurally sound, energy-efficient elements that will ensure their durability against decades of wear and tear and North Carolina-specific weather conditions.

For details on exterior and interior materials and energy-efficient elements and to see the floor plans of each house, go to

For more information on The Raleigh Architecture Co., visit

For more information on Monarch Property Co, visit


INDYWEEK: “Let’s get Happy + Hale: It’s expanding to Ninth Street in Durham”

July 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

Durham location for Happy + Hale designed by The Raleigh Architecture Co.

Happy and Hale’s  Happy Herbs salad and Green No Envy smoothie, and  Rise N’ Shine fresh squeezed juice.  (Photo by Justin Cook)

By Tina Haver Currin

If you get a hankering for a midday meal from Happy + Hale, you’re in for a wait. You can almost set your watch to the lines that form in front of the 850-square-foot juice and salad bar during the lunch hours.

Are people elbowing one another inside the tiny restaurant, hollering requests for arugula and whey powder in their almond smoothies? Must be noon. Is the line snaking out the door and around the patio tables? That likely means it’s 1 o’clock. Is the juice cooler empty, but you can walk right into the restaurant? Betcha it’s 2 p.m.

When co-owners Tyler Helikson and Matt Whitley opened Happy + Hale on June 27, 2014, in Raleigh’s City Plaza, they envisioned a bright, open area with windows behind the counter so patrons could watch the 5-foot juicer do its thing. Indeed, there is a small window near the machine, but the restaurant is so popular and compact that it’s often impossible to see anything but bustling workers, let alone find a comfortable perch.

But that’s all about to change—in Durham. Today, the duo finalized a lease for a space on Ninth Street three times the size of their glass cube in City Plaza…

…The new location will open in January of 2016 in what used to be a post office at 703 Ninth St. in Durham.Craig Kerins and Robby Johnston of The Raleigh Architecture Co. will complete the upfit.

Click HERE to read the entire story.

NEWS & OBSERVER: “Housing stock east of downtown Raleigh gets a jolt of modernism”

July 12, 2015 § Leave a comment

Local developer Jason Queen and The Raleigh Architecture and Construction companies are partnering to build 3 modernist houses on Wynne Street. (Photo by Chris Seward)

Local developer Jason Queen and The Raleigh Architecture and Construction companies are partnering to build 3 modernist houses on Wynne Street. (Photo by Chris Seward)

By David Bracken

RALEIGH — When Craig Kerins and Robby Johnston began building a cluster of modernist homes on Edenton Street a few blocks east of downtown, the architects knew they were tapping into a shift in attitudes among the homebuying public.

“The second those homes started to take shape, there was lots of market interest,” says Johnston. “We started receiving lots of phone calls.”

But the five homes – which feature large overhangs, big shared spaces filled with light from 9-by-9 windows and skylights – were all done on commission and would not be listed for sale.

That is not the case for their latest project, a trio of similarly designed houses that are now going up on Wynne Street a block from Chavis Park.

While a small sample size, Kerins and Johnston’s work is a sign that many of the defining characteristics of modernist architecture – open plans, numerous windows, and easy accessibility from inside to outside – have become features prized by many of today’s homeowners. READ MORE..

Where Am I?

You are currently viewing the archives for July, 2015 at THE RACo JOURNAL.