Residential / Multi-Family
East Bay Townhouses
This new nine-unit townhouse project, inserted into the heart of Charleston's historic district, is on East Bay Street across from Rainbow Row. The 3200-3600 square foot, three-bedroom units are organized on three levels above a garage/basement level. The units are oriented to sidewalk entrances along the perimeter streets and to the view of the waterfront across an interior court. On the three East Bay Street units that directly face the waterfront, the plan organization is inverted with the living areas one level up from the entry to maximize the view potential.
The location, in a prime portion of Charleston's historic district, guaranteed intense scrutiny from the stringent city architectural review board and the neighborhood, which initially opposed any development of the site. The units are organized around a secure, internal auto court, which provides access to a two-car garage on the lower level of each unit. Gracious entrances give access from the perimeter sidewalks to the main level. French doors onto balconies and roof porches orient the units to the internal court and waterfront views.
The exterior design is sensitive to the neighborhood scale and character with a cast-stone base and horizontal band at the floor level. Upper level bedrooms are designed under the roof in what would typically be attic space, thus allowing the second level eave line of the neighborhood to be maintained (as well as complying with the city-mandated height limit). These upper level bedroom suites open to city views and light through dormers and roof porches. The mass of the project is visually reduced with breaks in the plan, walled entry gardens, and projecting balconies, all of which continue the scale and rhythm of the Charleston neighborhood.
The interiors are richly detailed, with limestone and heart pine floors and cast stone fireplaces. High ceilings and tall windows and doors give a spacious feel; freestanding circular stairs add drama to the entry foyers. The project has taken the best of the Charleston tradition, with a fresh approach to the architectural organization and detailing, creating a completely appropriate infill to the Charleston neighborhood.
The project won an award from the City of Charleston for "Building within the Historic District" for sensitivity of the design to the neighborhood context.