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A Builder's Light Bulb Moment From July 2010 Charlotte Urban Home Mag

July 2010 Charlotte Urban Home

Charlotte housing market: organic contemporary architectureNew words have crept into our vernacular since the green movement began: socially responsible, sustainable design, eco-friendly and right-size living, to name a few. Now a well-known builder of custom homes in the Lake Wylie area is introducing a new phrase to the Charlotte housing market: organic contemporary architecture. But this is much more than a buzzword to Doug McSpadden; it’s his passion.

The term organic architecture was first coined in 1908 by Frank Llyod Wright to describe his idea that a home should be built in relationship with its natural surroundings, and carefully thought out as if it were a unified organism.

For today’s homeowner, Doug McSpadden describes his enhanced architectural philosophy as mature, well-educated design that is more integrated with nature, features smaller square footage and makes more efficient use of space. “We’ve all heard ‘form follows function.’ In this case form and function are one,” he says.

“ ‘Organic’ suggests homes should be more human in scale with rooms that are multi-purpose, spaces that are brighter and more creative, and a structure that integrates with the site. ‘Contemporary’ encourages the home to meet the needs of our current day lifestyles without being confined to the old paradigms,” Doug explains. “Our focus groups told us they would pay more for a smaller, quality home that was designed and built right. It’s time to offer alternatives to museums or castles. It’s time for a paradigm shift and we want to lead the way!” Focus groups were one part of the research Doug and his team conducted over the past few years when the housing market began to dry up. “Because we were financially stable, we have been able to focus on re-inventing our business rather than just surviving. We looked around and saw that architecture had stagnated, technology was advancing, and new opportunities were emerging. Homeowners today want smaller, better, and more creative homes.”

McSpadden Custom Homes has recently broken ground on their first example of organic contemporary architecture in the Charlotte market. The home will be defined by fluid lines and curved walls with an emphasis on natural lighting and exterior materials that extend into the home’s interior. Construction techniques will utilize recycled materials and the home’s flat roof will be designed to accommodate solar and wind power technologies.

Doug described the new project, which will be unveiled within the coming year, as one of the most exciting, innovative works his team has developed in its 25-year history. But don’t expect to see architectural renderings anytime soon; he’s keeping the plans under wraps, in anticipation of its debut. “It will make a statement all its own,” Doug says.
To learn more about McSpadden Custom Homes, visit them online at or call 704-825-7324.


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