The Larsen House Tour

In 1971, Chapel Hill architect Jon Condoret became tasked with creating the Larsen house in Durham, a wonder that sticks out today. This architectural gem, finished in 1973, has become a hub of vibrant social gatherings for its proprietors, Arthur and Florence Larsen. Among Duke faculty and cherished pals, the Larsens fostered a network of warmth and intellect within its partitions. The spacious dwelling room, in particular, served as a stage for numerous classical song soirées, including a harmonious touch to the home’s already wealthy tapestry of reminiscences.

They initially had 4, originally 825 sf. When the Larsen house became new proprietors, they thought they would renovate the particular design by the well-known California architect Fu-Tung Cheng and build it by Landmark Renovation. Landscape architect Judy Harmon designed the entry in 2011. They renovated the master suite, and the house evolved into a 6040-sf structure.


Condoret was born in Algiers, Algeria. In 1959, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture at the L’Ecole Speciale d’Architecture in Paris. 1962, he moved to North Carolina from Algeria to work for Archie Davis. He worked as a Winn/Condoret architect with Sumner Winn In 1967. He worked for Don Stewart at CPAA In 1968 before going out on his own. He designed strikingly modern homes across Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties, including many as Senior Architect for Fearrington. His daughter Audie Schechter is an architect in Chapel Hill.


Cheng attended UCLA, where, in 1968, he won a junior-year scholarship abroad to Japan. After a year of studying Buddhism, Japanese culture, and the martial art of Shorinji Kenpo (in which he holds a second-degree black belt), he transferred to UC Berkeley. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1971. Soon afterward, Fu-Tung began his lifelong practice of T’ai Chi; he teaches at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery. In 1978, Fu-Tung founded Cheng Design. Within a short time, the company built a reputation in custom home design with its signature medium — concrete. In 1998, Cheng launched a line of sculptural concrete countertops — Geocrete™ — which became the model for concrete countertop fabricators.

From Raleigh, take I-40 West to NC 147 (Durham Expressway). Go through Durham and exit on 15-501, heading South towards Chapel Hill. Exit right on Cornwallis Road. At the bottom of the ramp, turn left onto West Cornwallis. Turn left on Woodburn Road. The house is at the corner of Woodburn Road and Learned Place. Park along either street.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *