The Hilton Head/Beaufort section of the South Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects got together in December to unveil the winners of its annual awards. From commercial to residential, the buildings on the following pages represent the finest designs from area architects. Enjoy the tour, complete with project notes from the architects of record.
McConnell House, Colleton River
Architect of record: John Pittman III, AIA, John Pittman Architects
Situated at the confluence of two exceptional, award-winning, 18-hole championship golf courses, and looking out over the expansive marsh vistas of the Colleton River, this site offered an excellent opportunity to explore and expand upon the potential of the building’s site lines from deep within the home. Our mandate from home owners was to secure as many of these views as possible, while remaining true to the clients’ request to have the home remain stylistically “Neo-Traditional,” while incorporating maintenance-free building materials into the design.
Red Cedar Elementary School
Architect of record: Barry Taylor, AIA, The FWA Group, PA
This new elementary school was designed for 800 students, ranging from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade. The efficient design features a two-story wing for second through fifth graders, and a separate one-story wing for pre-kindergarten through first grade.
The support spaces—administration, guidance, kitchen/cafeteria, music, multipurpose/physical education, arts, computer and media center—are all contained within the center mass of the building connecting the two classroom wings.
The one-story wing also has students grouped by grade level around a pod concept with a discovery center. This discovery center provides direct access to each classroom and serves as a gathering space for group activities, media, science and art instruction.
Through these discovery centers, the young students interact with one another in their own ‘small social community,’ which promotes more time on task and limits student anxiety about moving through the school.
719 Schooner Court
Architect of record: Tom Crews, AIA, Tom Crews Architect
Inspired by a luxury yacht in fit, finish and detail, the innovation in this custom-designed townhouse on Hilton Head Island makes for a spacious sea-worthy experience.
One of the project’s focal points is the custom glass-and-teak stair system floating three feet from the wall. It filters natural sunlight and moonlight and captures the reflections of boats passing along the waterway.
The “Little Blue House” at the Gullah Museum
Architect of record: Don Baker, AIA, Square Feet Island Architects
The Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island was created in 2003. Its first goal was to preserve a little blue house, affectionately known as the Little House – Duey’s Home. Its owner, Louise Miller Cohen, offered it and its 1.25 acres as the site for a Gullah museum.
After learning of the Gullah Museum’s mission in 2009, I volunteered to be the pro-bono architect and created preservation plans for the Little House. Subsequently I accepted an invitation to become a board member and began to network with community members to move the project forward. Since I also serve on the Board of the Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association, I was able to convince the Remodelers’ Council of that group to do all the required work to preserve the Little House as a service project.
In April 2011, the project was presented the Governor’s Honor Award for Historic Preservation.
Equestrian Center, Sea Pines
Architect of record: Tom Parker, AIA, Lee+Parker Architects
The existing 22-acre farm site in the middle of Sea Pines Resort consisted of two run-down pole barns and had been unmaintained for 32 years. The new master plan provides for both the very public aspect of tourists arriving to go on trial rides and the requirements of a private boarding barn for hunter
/jumpers. The work consisted of three new buildings, two all-weather rings and new pastures, achieved in three phases over two years, to accommodate the existing 58 trial horses that continued to be used during the work.
The trial head cottage is a central focal point for the arriving tourist creating an area to sit in rocking chairs under fans & sign in for trial rides while browsing the gift shop. The main barn is constructed to resemble a timber frame structure by thoughtfully assembling standard lumberyard timbers. Clear cypress and brick is used sparingly along with custom stall fronts creating a perfect complement to high quality horses boarding there.
Children’s Center, Hilton Head Island
Architect of record: Barry Taylor, AIA, The FWA Group, PA
Merit Citation winner
This new daycare center is a 19,700-square-foot facility on Hilton Head Island. The center is a nonprofit child care facility providing affordable, quality childcare for low- to moderate-income families and serves approximately 150 children ranging in age from six weeks to early elementary age.
A homelike building that is child-scaled and child-friendly was the design vision for the school, enhancing the child-directed learning environment. Natural lighting, a close relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces generating adjacent play areas/courtyards with age-appropriate equipment, and a focus on nature are all important elements incorporated into the building operations and functions.
The approximately 3.5-acre site, of which less than an acre was available for the building, is located on Nature’s Way across from Jarvis Creek Park. The buildable area of the site had several restrictions, from easements to trees to setback requirements, thereby dictating the footprint, parking and site access.
Hull House, smokey mountains
Architect of record: Robert Johnson, AIA, Johnson & Associates, PA
This 3,600-square-foot house rests on a high mountain ridge in the Smokey Mountains. The contours of the site, along with the sun orientation and breezes, informed this linear design. The programming of the house allows for maximum day lighting and ventilation in anticipation of the region’s cool winters and low-humidity summers. The entry promenade and the “sunrise” and “sunset” porches serve to connect and extend both the public and private rooms of the home, while their position on the ridge, as it falls away, creates a sense of being up in a tree house. The master bedroom, which sits between these porches, incorporates sliding doors that pocket into the walls.