WALTER Magazine – “The Carolina School: Distinct Modern Architecture in the Triangle”

January 15, 2020 § Leave a comment


A chance encounter between architects Frank Harmon and Harwell Hamilton Harris became the genesis of our own genre of regional modernism.

By J. Michael Welton

…Don Kranbuehl, a senior architect at Clark Nexsen and assistant professor at N.C. State…sees [Frank] Harmon—a mentor and role model—as the Southeastern representative of regional modernism, while Chapel Hill architect Arielle Schechter considers his range broader. “I don’t think he knows the influence he’s had,” she says.

Harmon’s style never insists on a single solution. Instead, individual responses are de rigueur. “The site is your building, and you do what’s appropriate,” Schechter learned from him. So when she designed a home in Pittsboro for a couple seeking privacy from neighbors, she clad its front in cypress for total opacity. But its rear is transparent, with a porch that overlooks nature on its one-acre site…

“What sets it apart are great connections to outdoors, sensitivity to site and volumetric buildings,” Schechter says. “And there’s a lot of creativity around, and a lot of points of view around how to design.”

It’s this variety of interpretations that make the Carolina School. Its architects follow similar principles, but like artists, they work from their own palettes… READ MORE



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