For a decade, the owners of this large estate near Charleston focused on stewardship, undertaking conservation projects to preserve sensitive river habitat. They then turned to the creation of a home, one that would be fitting of the land and place. Yet, for this site with a long and complex history, they envisioned a home that would be more about welcome and ease than impressions or tradition. Weaving a narrative of generational additions and adaptive reuse, the architect layered multiple moments of invented history by deconstructing the residence into three separate structures (connected only by outdoor ‘hallways’).
The centerpiece is the grand pavilion, its great hall, river-facing storytelling room and kitchen all scaled for entertaining. This hub of an active family and social life, however, was intentionally designed without sleeping quarters. These can be found in two subordinate brick ‘outbuildings’: one a gracious owners’ suite, the other two guest suites. The three pavilions frame a traditional courtyard garden, striking a first impression of ‘approachable classicism’. In contrast to the traditional front façade, the rear expresses a more contemporary layer of history. Behind the Greek Doric columns that once may have framed a river-facing veranda, a wall of steel and glass floats from end-to-end as a modern counterpoint. By mixing the high style of 19th century Greek Revival with moments of vernacular inspiration, the architect created a home that feels formal and informal at once, its authenticity derived from scale and proportion and the implied passage of time.