River Residence

River Residence

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

1999 Citation Award, South Carolina American Institute of Architects  

1998 Grand Award Winner, Custom Builder Magazine


The residence is sited on an Atlantic barrier island, at the edge of an oak forest, where the trees give way to the marshes of a tidal inlet. The main entry is a glass tower providing a shimmering, abstracted view of a prominent live oak. The separate buildings of living/dining areas, master bedroom, and guest cottage surround the garden and provide a range of living and entertaining spaces. The buildings are one room deep to catch daylight and prevailing breezes.

Sheltered by a village of structures, the garden forms a passage from the dense, shady forest to the open vastness of the tidal river systems. Retaining the earth of the elevated garden is a stucco base that also supports the light, shingle-clad, timber buildings. The long, slender pool is the artery of the elevated linear garden. Emerging from the forest, the linear rigor of the pool and garden create an ordered environment set within the natural coastal surroundings. The terminus of the linear village is the detached guest cottage, tucked into the oak forest to provide a self-sufficient haven for visitors.