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Revisiting a Residence on Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

2019

Project Partners

Description

Inspired by the rustic shingled cottages that McKim, Mead & White designed for the Montauk Association on Long Island, this house has a relatively simple rectangular mass softened by gables, dormers, bay windows and, at the main floor, a broad wraparound porch. But unlike its precedents this house is raised a full story above grade, in accordance with government flood guidelines, on a plinth that supports the Tuscan colonnade of the main level porch.  Principal rooms are arranged ensuite along the ocean side; rhythmically disposed, deeply angled bays capture views of the shoreline and open sea.  The brick chimney bisecting the central gable of the entry facade—a direct reference to White’s James Hampden Robb house in Southampton—provides a strong vertical counterpoint to the powerful base.

Some twenty years after RAMSA’s initial design and after changing hands a couple of times, the house’s current owners came to us, ostensibly to update the kitchen and open it up to the family room, and to design a large entertaining room and small office behind the pergola overlooking the pool.  Before long the program grew to include gutting and re-planning the primary suite and third floor, replacing and upgrading the finishes and fixtures in every room as well as the mechanical and lighting systems throughout. Interior designer Tammy Connor worked closely with us on all aspects of the project and was invaluable in communicating—and anticipating—the owners’ preferences.  Outside, we worked with landscape architect Cindy Cline to reimagine and completely revamp the site with a more formal entry drive and motor court, a tennis court and pavilion, and lush plantings.
 

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