Spring Island, South Carolina
2003 Honor Award, Robert Mills Residential Design
On a coastal sea island, the densely wooded site slopes gently but perceptibly toward a vast wetland, offering vistas of salt marshes laced with channels and interrupted by distant islands. Designed as a village of diverse, semi-discrete structures organized along a crescent-shaped gallery, one experiences the house as a curved enfilade of spaces. Each principal room, delineated by its roof/ceiling structure, contains its own distinct volume. One passes from room to room by moving along the curved gallery.
Though glassed-in, the gallery, with its scored concrete floor and low joisted ceiling, has the feel of an outdoor passageway. Moving through the house
among its various stations, one is continually brought back into contact with nature. A unifying element of the village which links the spaces together,
the gallery is a vehicle for bringing the landscape into the structure and into the consciousness of the inhabitants.
The purpose of the structure was to offer a retreat in nature for a hardworking, cultured, urban couple. They wished to create a place to read, to study,
to work, and to relax, all in the powerful presence of the natural world. They wanted their house to embrace the land and maximize its vistas.