House in South Carolina

House in South Carolina

Surber Barber Choate + Hertlein Architect
Bray’s Island Plantation, SC, USA | View Map
Project Year
Private Houses
Phillip Spears
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Rixson #117 1/4: typical pivot hingesRixson
FSB #1035: Exterior door lockset/leverFSB
FSB 1035
Kitchen cabinetsBulthaup
Bathroom countertopsDupont Corian
Kohler #K-2215 “Ladena“: bathroom lavatoryKohler
Zinc metal fasciaVMZINC

Product Spec Sheet
Rixson #117 1/4: typical pivot hinges
FSB #1035: Exterior door lockset/lever
FSB 1035 by FSB
Kitchen cabinets
Bathroom countertops
Kohler #K-2215 “Ladena“: bathroom lavatory
by Kohler
Zinc metal fascia

House in South Carolina

Surber Barber Choate + Hertlein Architect as Architects

Nestled in the low country of South Carolina, between Savannah and Charleston, this rural house site is characterized by moss-draped live oaks, other mature specimen trees, and an estuary water view in the distance, visible through a thicket of trees.


The owners wanted a modern house, abstract in form, and open to the natural beauty of the surrounding light and exterior views.


The entry walls of the house are composed of strategically-placed solid planes, which provide visual privacy from the road. Once inside, the house becomes far more transparent and open to the sloping lawn and view of the water beyond. The public areas run south to north, arrayed on the brow of a slope that faces the water in the distance. The private spaces (bedroom, baths, and study) are perpendicular to these, arrayed east to west; and are raised with wood floors, which contrasts the concrete floors of the public areas.


The symbolic heart of the house is a concrete fireplace and chimney. This vertical feature is centrally located, around which the rectangular forms of the house are arrayed. The terrain behind the house slopes slightly down, highlighted by the cantilevered master bedroom and study wings.


The palette is intentionally limited to a few materials, namely concrete, wood, and zinc; used in a straightforward and honest expression of form shaped by these practical and durable materials. The concrete walls are configured in, throughout,and around the house in planes that move seamlessly between interior and exterior. Wood-clad planes similarly shape both exterior and interior spaces, although in a variety of ways from walls anchored to the floor to walls that sit above the floor to wood planes that float above on the ceiling. The zinc-edged roof eaves form a distinct horizontal datum that caps and also cuts through the vertical concrete and wood walls. At select locations, this horizontal zinc edge reaches beyond the body of the house to form independent geometric shapes of their own, echoing the dramatic umbrella-like canopies of nearby trees, and creating dramatic shadow lines on the house and horizontal hardscape/landscape surfaces below.


The detailing is exacting minimalism, intended to focus the eye on the inherent richness and beauty of the building materials, and to celebrate the simple sculptural shapes of the home.

Material Used :

1. VM Zinc: zinc metal fascia
2. Western Red Cedar: exterior wood siding
3. YKK Aluminum Glazing System (with hurricane glass): windows
4. Bulthaup: kitchen cabinets
5. Walnut: wood flooring
6. Metal Tech: bathroom tile
7. Steel Works: bathroom tile
8. Dupont Zodiaq: bathroom countertops
9. Brazilian Soapstone: kitchen countertop, backsplash, and slab-end sides at island
10. FSB #1035: Exterior door lockset/lever
11. Rixson #117 1/4: typical pivot hinges
12. Kohler #K-2215 “Ladena“: bathroom lavatory

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