Apogee Consulting Group is thrilled to announce that architectural designer Aleah Pullen, a recent University of North Carolina at Charlotte graduate, is one of four winners of the Emerging Black Architects Design Competition for the high-profile adaptive reuse project Camp North End in Charlotte.
One of the largest adaptive reuse projects currently underway in the U.S., Camp North End is a 76-acre Charlotte hub for creativity and innovation that aims to change the city’s cultural life by addressing a shortage of inviting public places.
“Winning this competition is validation that I have the skills to succeed,” said Pullen, who received her architecture degree in the spring of 2020. “This was my first time making a design from scratch since I graduated college. I was able to pair strategies of functionality, which I have learned from Apogee, with design techniques I learned in school.”
The developer ATCO Properties & Management opened the design competition was open to Black architects, designers and architecture students charged with designing the façades of the site’s new retail pavilions located one mile from Charlotte’s city center at 701 Keswick Avenue.
The “Keswick Platform” will contain up to seven pavilions that house local small businesses, and food and beverage vendors. Four of the pavilions will be designed by the four competition winners.
The prize means a lot to Pullen, who is based in Apogee’s Charlotte office. She has a chance early in her career to contribute to one of Charlotte’s popular, new places while paying homage to its past. One of the buildings on site once housed Ford Motor Company when it made the Model T. Other buildings housed missile production during World War II.
“The purpose of Camp North End is to keep the historical bones, while also bringing art and industry together,” she said. “There is a plethora of facades, murals, performance spaces, and restaurants. I decided to participate in the competition in hopes of putting my stamp on a piece of Charlotte’s history.”
Pullen also wanted to pay homage to original materials used at the site, so she focused on the truss system above the pavilions, mimicking the way the mullion systems work in her design. Her façade is composed of metal-clad panels that future tenants can customize and a gypsum wallboard for displays and shelving.
Other winners include Melanie Reddrick, AIA, project architect with Charlotte-based firm Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Marcus R. Thomas, AIA, managing principal at community-based design firm KEi Architects and Hasheem Halim, general manager of creative workshop Saturn Atelier in Charlotte.