Tonic Design Raleigh

About Tonic Design

We practice in a small city tied into a larger region of universities and research. We have great clients, some clients focused on pushing the edge of design, the majority who appreciate design but have to make more conservative choices within the economic situation of our place. By no means are we a place that lacks resources or quality design, but rather a region that is growing and we hope to not only lead by example but also help shift our place to more quality than quantity.

We have chosen to be an intentionally small (even with a booming economy), husband and wife, architecture and construction practice in Raleigh, North Carolina. We work as architects, design/builders or as contractors; as long as we believe in the design potential of the project at hand, we truly welcome any of these roles.

We approach architectural design problems through accumulated experience as design-builders and construction managers. We use construction as a filter and as a generator. This presents an immediate value to clients, it fosters the development of a comprehensive feedback loop that shapes their architectural design process. Each proposed project direction has an embedded and evolving DNA that comes from lessons learned in the field. This translates into quickened reflexes for design – While exploring divergent options during pre-design, consideration will oscillate to implications for project site management including members of the field team, construction methods, order of operations, project schedule, and cost. As thinking returns to pre-design, it infuses actionable information in real time about the realities of the proposal, thereby creating a construction-led design process. By taking ownership of a greater amount of project delivery spectrum, tonic design creates fluid overlaps between project phases and exploits them for creative experimentation, while other methods of delivery experience scheduled transitions and hand-offs to other professionals.

In turn, the prevailing business model for project delivery is responsible for making design accessible to a larger percentage of clients; clients that would not always have access to architectural services. The design-build advantage allows for tonic design to become a subcontractor for tonic construction, thereby enabling architecture clients the option to finance design fees within the project construction budget and finance them across the lifespan of a 30 year construction loan.

Over the past decade, our work has been recognized for design achievement by diverse juries. The practice has so far received 41 design awards, including 27 sanctioned across different levels of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), including two at the national level. Also at the national level, the Weathering House was recognized by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) with a 2014 Faculty Design award.

We have been very fortunate to be recipients of the 2013 Rising Star award by Residential Architect magazine, the Richard Gluckman, endowed visiting critics at Syracuse University, and the 2017 joint recipients of the AIA North Carolina Kamphoefner Award for their commitment to modernism exceeding a 10 year period. We have served as adjunct professors at the College of Design at North Carolina State University where dual engagement in architectural teaching and architectural practice inform the methodologies and insights of both.

LOCATION: Raleigh, North Carolina, USA