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and closed to the public -- so don't go tromping around uninvited!


Born in Seattle and raised in British Columbia, Joel Turkel earned a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Manitoba, and Masters of Architecture from MIT. He is a recipient of the Marvin E. Goody prize in Architecture for his work on prefabricated residential building systems. Turkel worked under architect Fernando Domeyko-Perez and with several international groups including the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture in both India and Syria; the Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) in Ethiopia; and the Space in and In-Between Workshop under the direction of architects Steven Holl, Fumihiko Maki and Frank Gehry.

From 1999 to 2007 Turkel served as the Creative Director of Empyrean Architecture Planning and Fabrication. During his tenure, he played a key role in several major initiatives including the development of the Dwell Homes by Empyrean, a unique collaboration between Lazor Office, Resolution 4: Architecture and Dwell magazine. He is the creator of NextHouse, a series of prefabricated modern homes still marketed by Deck House.

Turkel is a frequent critic at architecture schools throughout the United States, and since 2004 has held a faculty position in the MIT School of Architecture and Planning.  In 2007, he founded Turkel Design with his wife and partner Meelena Oleksiuk Turkel, dividing their time between Cambridge and Toronto.

 2007 - aka the Dwell NextHouse, aka Redhill house, 2711 Redhill Lane, Hillsborough. Inaccessible to the public, due to Redhill Lane being a gated community. Builder: Redfoot and Weber Construction. This is a 5000 square foot, light-filled modern structure on a 13-acre lot. The home has 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, and a kitchen/dining/living area with adjoining decks on the main level, family room and office. It has bamboo flooring, an alcohol-burning fireplace and "accordion doors" that transform the living room into the ultimate screened porch. Trusses, walls and other structural elements were constructed in a factory rather than on site, resulting in less lumber waste than typical dwellings.

The house was a local office for Empyrean International but was put on the market in September 2008 as a residence. Former NC Senator John Edwards rented it for about a year. Sold in July 2010 to Patrick Hranitsky and S. Shah.

2008 - The Meadow House, aka the Dwell NextHouse, Hillsdale NY. Three floors, 3600 square feet. Contains four master suites with communal kitchen and living. Wired for solar and geothermal system. Builder: Verdisian (Brenden Maloof).

Year unknown - The Woods House, Hillsdale NY. Thirteen acres of private forest with direct views to the Catamount ski area and the surrounding Berkshire mountains. Sited to capture both the views and the southern exposure, this highly energy efficient home uses prefab construction, geothermal heating and cooling, high performance insulation, low VOC paints, a constant HRV air filtering system, bamboo floors, FSC-certified and renewable woods, and low water usage toilets. Builder: Verdisian (Brenden Maloof). 5000 square feet.

2007 - The Karl Peter Lieberwirth House, aka the Indian Hill House, 140 Indian Hill Road, Carlisle MA. Designed when he was Creative Director of Empyrean International, LLC. Sold in 2012 to Marilena Caldarusa and Mircea Muilescu.

2008 - The Dune House, Aspen Lane, Dune Acres IN. Located on a prehistoric sand dune on Lake Michigan with excellent views of Chicago at night. 2200 square feet. 

2008 - The Ron and Sandy Simblist Residence, aka the Serenbe House, 10744 Serenbe Lane, Chattahoochee Hills area of Palmetto GA. Construction by Moon Brothers.

2008 - The Mark Siminoff and Ellen Tauber Residence, aka the Silicon Valley House, 525 Oak Street, Mountain View CA. Located in a dense neighborhood, the narrow lot required a plan only 32 feet in width.

2009 - The French Broad Crossing House, Asheville NC. Designed using the Lindal Cedar Homes system and details. No address. Do you have one?

aka Sweet Repose, Greenville SC.

Sources include: Joel Turkel, Dwell NextHouse, Business Week, Palo Alto Magazine, DWELL NextHouse Wiki, Turkel Design, Atlanta Magazine, Sally Keeney.