Brays Island, South Carolina
In the rural Sea Islands, densely wooded land slopes down to meet the open marshes of a tidal saltwater creek. The swampy land contains a rich mixture of semi-tropical foliage, fish, reptile, animal, and bird life. Occupants find themselves suspended within the transitional, natural world where the land dissolves into mud and water. The structure facilitates observation yet avoids disturbance of the landscape and the diverse natural life of the site.
The design is a sequence of experiences. As the land falls away, one emerges from the deep, claustrophobic woods passing over a bridge to the base of a tower hovering over the wetlands. From this point of arrival, the vista opens up to expanses of marshlands. Moving laterally, the dwelling is realized as a chain of light, framed structures, supported on poles and connected to one another by decks and bridges. Moving vertically, one ascends up a stair in the tower from entry to studio to "osprey's nest" for observation.