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KNOXVILLE—The design of two homes and the preservation of another in Old North Knoxville by two University of Tennessee professors have drawn the attention of an international architecture and design publication.

The houses are featured in the March edition of Dwell, which hit newsstands February 1. They are the work of Ted Shelton and Tricia Stuth, assistant professor and associate professor, respectively, in the UT College of Architecture and Design.

The husband-wife team took an inexpensive approach to crafting contemporary, sleek interiors with exteriors that complement the character of the early twentieth century neighborhood where they live.

The project began in 2006 when Shelton and Stuth purchased a home in the historic neighborhood two miles outside of downtown. After researching the property, they discovered it had once contained three nearly identical houses. It inspired them to begin a design project to unite the architectural heritage of Knoxville with contemporary design, as well as re-establish the historic street pattern and density of the area.

The two new houses were built in the spirit of the original, 100-year-old structure that the couple initially purchased, preserved, and in which they presently live. The entire project, called “Ghost Houses” because they are reminiscent of houses that once stood in their place, meets Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation.

“The Ghost Houses provide a valuable lesson for us all,” said Scott Wall, UT director of architecture. “They resurrect the essential qualities of a sustainable community in three moves: subdivide, conserve, and build simply.”

Shelton and Stuth also used inexpensive materials like coated plywood, laminated oak intended for the beds of tractor trailers, white drywall, and polished concrete floors for the interior spaces. Reflecting and glowing with light, the homes’ interiors have an open floor plan, where rooms and levels flow together.

The Ghost Houses have won numerous awards throughout the project’s development, including the 2010 East Tennessee American Institute of Architects Honor Citation and the 2009 Award of Excellence by AIA Tennessee. Articles on the project also have been published in Forward, a national journal of the American Institute of Architects, and the Journal of Architectural Education.

Shelton and Stuth are co-founders of Knoxville-based architecture firm, curb, More information about the Ghost Houses and other projects by the faculty team can be found on the firm’s website.

C O N T A C T S:

Kiki Roeder (865-974-6713,

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,