Editor’s Note: The Mecklenburg Times, in partnership with the American Institute of Architects Charlotte section, asked area architects to create a suburban home that represents Charlotte, drawing on history, culture, natural resources and climate. It was to have a construction value (not including the land) of $300,000 and be for a family of five with a dual-income couple. Some of their elevations, floor plans, site plans and explanations will be included in the print edition of The Mecklenburg Times; additional images and explanations can be found on this website, where you can also vote on your favorite design.The name of Josh Allison’s project is fairly self-explanatory.
Allison’s home design is one of 10 submitted by area architects asked to create a home that uniquely draws upon the region for its influence. Allison is the owner of Josh Allison Architecture in Charlotte.
Allison’s “A Charlotte House” seeks to reflect the sense of community and warmth in many of Charlotte’s historic neighborhoods – a front porch expanding the width of the house and large windows – while also providing the space and flexibility to accommodate the nuclear family daily and extended family occasionally, with a large, open gathering space for cooking and eating and two flex-space rooms.
“Walk down a street in one of Charlotte’s historic neighborhoods at dusk – the street feels subtly alive, safe, and architecturally interesting,” he wrote. “A Charlotte House should accomplish these same goals – giving back to its neighbors. The porch and windows should create a sense of transparency that seeks to capture the emotions associated with Charlotte’s finest historic neighborhoods. Let the front door be used!”
But for those moments when its residents want to enjoy more private times, toward the back is a large enclosed side porch – also a historic Charlotte staple.
“History should not be forgotten,” Allison wrote on his entry. “Nor can it be duplicated. The exterior design should acknowledge the scale and proportion of those Charlotte homes that have successfully endured. Subtle details and gestures put a ‘twist’ on the traditional vernacular and make A Charlotte House – a house that is of today.”
Allison’s design seeks to balance cost and energy efficiency; maximize green space and open space; and reflect traditional Charlotte architecture while offering a floor plan that conforms to a modern family’s lifestyle.
Allison does primarily residential architecture as well as “a handful of small commercial project,” he said.
Asked if he is known for any particular aesthetic or type of construction, he said: “I am known for listening and responding to my clients’ goals. I have worked on traditional to contemporary projects.”
Because we know that architects spent a lot of thought, energy and time on these unpaid designs, we asked each one to tell us why they created a submission. Allison’s response: “I am passionate about and enjoy working on all types of housing projects. If people live there, I want to design it. Many of the new single family homes that are being built in Charlotte could be better designed, in my opinion. I see a lot of opportunity for Charlotte developers, builders, and architects to raise the bar for single-family house design, so this opportunity appealed to me.”