This lovely modernist home on Damascus Church Road is just two miles from University Lake and four from Chapel Hill so close that it has a Chapel Hill address. And children living in this house would attend Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools: Frank Porter Graham Elementary School, Culbreth Middle School and Carrboro High School.
Set on 4.25 acres, this 3,870-square-foot split-level home built in 2000 has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and multiple great room spaces filled with natural light. Although a split-level, this modernist house was designed for contained living on each level and there are three levels and bedrooms with private baths on each.
The house was designed by architect Leo Sagasti and his wife Miriam, an interior designer, well-known illustrator, and visual artist whose works can be seen at www.miriamsagasti.com
The result of their collaboration is now a feast for the eyes that took almost 12 years to bring to fruition. compare it to other modernist houses, go to www.trianglemodernisthouses.com, scroll to Live click on For Sale, then sort by Architect and scroll to Leo Sagasti.
When we moved into the house in 2000, all of the walls were white, Miriam says, because we wanted to live in the space and see how the light fell at different times of the day before deciding which walls would have color and what colors to use.
In a way, the patience the couple has taken with their home mirrors the way they have lived their lives a time and place for everything.
When the couple moved to the United States from Peru in 1978 with their three children, Miriam didnt speak any English.
It was a real challenge, Miriam said, but it has been worth it because we have been able to realize our dreams, and our three kids are now college professors and we have grandchildren.
The Sagasti children were raised in Washington, D.C., where Leo was working as a commercial architect, having received his Bachelor of Science and Professional Degree from the School of Architecture at the National Engineering University in Lima, Peru.
He has worked in the field of architecture since 1964. Since moving to the Triangle from the nations capitol in 1993, he has worked on many complex commercial projects such as the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center and the Bioquest Exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science. Sagasti served as construction administrator and manager on many UNC projects while being a partner of BJAC pa.
Leo is now contemplating retirement. Miriam, a member of the Orange County Artists Guild and the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, is scaling back but says she will always be involved with artistic endeavors. Most recently she has turned to enamels on metals, an art form she had not pursued in more than six years while working on nature illustrations.
I will always have a place for my artwork, Miriam said. For just the two of us, this is just too large a house. Our children live on both coasts, are busy with their work and want us to visit them.
In addition to visiting children and grandchildren, the Sagastis enjoy traveling (they still have family in Peru) and spending time at their vacation home in Galax, Virginia.
We would love to simplify, simplify, simplify, Leo said. The experience of building our own home was great, but now it is time for the next phase of our lives.
Because the Sagastis built the house for themselves, Leo says, It was built as well as you can build something.
And because they are in the process of downsizing, some of the artwork in the house would be negotiable. In fact, some of the art is actually built into the house, such as the Peruvian hand-carved cabinet doors in the dining area of the great room.
This house is versatile in layout. The master suite is on the main level and opens to a deck, as does the great room, which is adjacent to the kitchen/dining room area. The decks are at the back of the house, which on this wooded, sloping lot means you are at treetop level.
There are no mosquitoes up this high, and the views into the woods are fantastic. There is another bedroom on the main level. Best of all, there is a magic window connecting an intimate den to the great room. The ornate shutters of this window are a work of art, too.
The lower level has space for a billiard table, sunroom and bedroom with private bath. Or one of the large spaces could be used as a childrens playroom with access to an outdoor jungle gym. The lower level now has Miriams studio, an office, gallery space, bedroom, bathroom, billiard table room, sunroom and the laundry.
The third floor was built as a separate studio apartment for a son-in-law with allergies to dogs. There is a large bedroom, bathroom space for a small refrigerator and counter with sink. Go to 2306damascuschurch.com to see more photos of this house and a room-by-room write up.
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