Mark Allison

Mark Allison
Mark Allison Architect PLLC, AIA, Asheville, NC


Bachelor of Art in Architecture, UNC Charlotte (1992)

Mark Allison grew up in Asheville under the tutelage of bohemians. He has always loved exploring the mountains through whatever means were available. When he saw his first Castiglioni Arco lamp at the age of 10, a course was set. His interest in art and design grew, and when he arrived at UNC-Charlotte in 1986, he lucked into being accepted to the School of Architecture starting in 1987. In 1990 he studied in Copenhagen in the DIS program. He went on to complete his Bachelor of Architecture at Pratt Institute under such luminaries as John Johansen and Raimund Abraham. He moved to Atlanta in anticipation of the 1996 Olympics to work on transit projects, and hotels. Asheville’s call was  strong, and so he returned in 1997. After working very hard for other architects, he decided to start his own practice in 2008. The practice’s mantra has been to do the work that you love, with hope that it will attract the next client that will honor the type of work that you’ve done. It’s not always been possible, but it remains a centering point after 14 years. He enjoys playing guitar, exploring mountains and cities through whatever means are available. He still appreciates Castiglioni’s lamps.

Mark shares a reflection from his time in SoA.

"If you don’t know what to do, then just do something.” First-year professor Professor Gregor Weiss.

There were so many great professors and students at UNCC in the 1980’s. I still feel the energy when I meet with fellow alumni or professors. There was great talent in the program. My education at UNCC has helped me to analyze the complex issues of building design more methodically. A few things that I carry with me and use every day in my practice: Ken Lambla showed us the value of “close reading” in order to understand architectural work. Peter Wong gave me the methods and encouragement to express the polemical ideas in my work. Bob Mclean taught us to synthesize complex programs into clear layouts, and so much about human scale. Michael Gallis ignited my curiosity about the world, and to study plans of great architectural work for inspiration. He taught us that a great building’s design is integral to its site, program, and ordering.

We emerge from the university prepared to design whole cities, only to find ourselves toiling away on details for years before we have the opportunity to design a building. It is critical to stay inspired. We were the last architects to be educated without computers, and with only a modicum of imagery. Today’s architects are bombarded with images, and have powerful tools in the computer. In this pandora’s box is the restraint offered by the sketchbook and pencil. The best thing about practicing architecture is that you can make a lasting difference in the world at many scales, and in any location you choose. “Work is the key to the creative growth of the mind,” Professor Craig Jamesson.

Work Samples

Date Completed: 05/01/2010 | Credit: Mark Allison, Architect

BMW Zentrum Museum Renovation
Date Completed: 8/1/2016 | Credit: Mark Allison, Architect