Gazing at a mosaic, it is nearly impossible to comprehend the amount of time and precision required to create the natural blending of elements that result in the final image.Individually the pieces may appear disjointed, yet when placed together the result is incredible.

Because of the leadership of Dr. Ronald Carter and his Board of Trustees at Johnson C. Smith University, the partnership between them, the Griffin Brothers and the City of Charlotte came to fruition and such a mosaic is being envisioned along West Trade St. in Historic West End.

Designed with college students and young professionals in mind, Mosaic Village is envisioned as a vibrant and energetic community located at the heart of Historic West End, just walking distance from the center city, JCSU, Johnson and Wales and Gateway Village. Seen as one of the first pieces of this envisioned cultural mosaic, the mixed-use project consists of a 300 bed Residence Hall for JCSU, retail space, and a 400 car parking deck.

Inspired by the area’s rich history and unmatched resilience, Mosaic Village has carefully been sculpted by the cultural influence of Jazz Music, seen and heard at the
nearby historic Excelsior Club. The rhythmic progression of the building pulls from the jazz aesthetic and its improvisational yet structured nature. A study of how the
layers of music can inform and compose the layers of architecture produces an array of breaks, riffs, vamps, bridges, and improvs in physical form. Following these rules from the realm of jazz, the public and physical realm of Mosaic Village becomes an architectural composition that respects its history, while chartering a new path for the Historic West End Community.

Mosaic Village has been designed as a sustainable campus that promotes diversity, mobility, identity, history, and vitality. The new urban housing development consists of 80 units (299 beds), each with a kitchen, washer/dryer, and 2 bathrooms. Lounges and study rooms are spread throughout each level to promote social interaction, while a fitness room, game room, and computer lab are located at the main lobby. The 6,800 sf of street level retail space consists of 3 main shell spaces located along West Trade St., each with an outdoor terrace and interior courtyard. The 400 space parking deck serves the immediate needs of the building, while also providing adequate spaces to serve the surrounding community and future development. As one of the main features of the village, the top level of the deck serves as a rooftop terrace with a skyline view of uptown Charlotte.

The village has a goal of sharing resources innovatively, appreciating the individual differences that come with diversity, and celebrating the opportunities for collaboration and engagement involved with being part of the overall mosaic that is Historic West End.

Project awards

  • 2013 NC Brick Design Honor Award

  • 2013 AIA Charlotte Urban Design Merit Award

Location: Charlotte, NC
Project Size: 400 space parking deck | 300 bed student housing | 7,000 SF of retail space
Services: Architecture, Construction Administration, Furniture Selection, Interiors