Reframing Charlotte: An Architectural Challenge

Santa Fe has its Spanish Pueblo; coastal South Carolina its Lowcountry style and the Midwest its Prairie School. Florida has its room.

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Charlotte historically has been architecturally dominated by Craftsman Bungalow and Colonial Revival homes, but they weren’t created in, nor are they limited to, the region.

This was pointed out recently by Debra Campbell, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg planning director, during a speech she gave upon receiving the Real Estate Person of the Year award at a December luncheon of Charlotte’s Commercial Real Estate Women.

Campbell lamented that homebuilders will often come to her, plans in hand, and describe their vision for “Charleston-style” houses or some other such designs.

What she’d like to see proposed, she said, is a Charlotte-style house, something that draws on and reflects the region historically and culturally.

We’d like to see that too.

Campbell’s comments got us thinking. Architecture arises from a number of influences and ideas, some practical, some evolutionary and some whimsical.

What are the available raw materials? What is the climate like? How do the residents live their lives? How would it fit in with its surroundings? What’s the layout of the land? How does it serve and represent a region’s culture and history?

That’s the challenge we gave out to architects.  Design a modern Charlotte house, drawing on the past and present with an eye to the future. And tell us why you make the decisions you make. Below are 10 answers to our question of what would a Charlotte home look like? You can click on each entry to see larger versions.

You can find out more in a recent WCNC news story here!



Josh Allison, Josh Allison Architecture

Jim Gleeson, Design Integration

Michael Kazak, FreemanWhite

Rick Kazebee, Kazebee Design and Jim Kirby, GreenTHINC

Bryan Mermans, Jenkins-Peer Architects

Ray Sheedy, Sheedy Watts Design

Louis Smith, Microtecture of North Carolina

Robin and Renato Tonelli, ROBINRENATO Architecture and Design

Jennifer Underwood, UNC Charlotte



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