schonberg residence by dialect design7

Many creative architectural projects are called on to respond to existing conditions, like an old residence in an historical style … but what do you do when the home you are starting with is already modern? In some ways, it is hard to tell a ‘second story’ with a newly-added floor if the first floor already appears to be a work of contemporary architecture.

schonberg residence by dialect design7

This solution by Dialect Design is subtle, clever and respectful of a box-shaped residence already in place, adding colorful elements that are at once different from the original but also fit in snugly with Modernist themes.

schonberg residence by dialect design library

Playful built-in bookcases are tied into the upstairs staircase while circular lights and mirrors dot the bathroom walls of the newly added portion. To call the approach ‘Postmodern’ would be to miss the point – sure, the style in play is probably a fit for the term, but the underlying ‘Modern’ is still there as well.

A splash or color, some new shading elements and other architectural details serve to brighten up the exterior facade, bring in additional light but slot like puzzle pieces within the (perhaps somewhat boring) house plan that predated them.

view from the addition

“Slowing down traffic with curiously hovering red boxes tickling the traditional sensibilities of an urban tree-lined neighborhood, Charlotte’s latest architectural triumph of contemporary design is breaking all conventions.”

view of addition from side
view of addition from below

“Via a modern climbing library that immediately evokes adventure, stylish comfort, and the intimacy of reading, Dialect Design, a design + build firm, has created an ingenious and refreshingly unexpected space. The Schönberg residence second story addition bears the mark of all things classically Dialect – a sophisticated use of color that effortlessly runs from the coolly subdued to the richly dramatic; an expert and unconventional approach to materials and construction; and an eye for detail so subtle the soul of the design is upon you before you know it.”