Of the more than 230 Design Awards entries, the judges said “this one stands out,” and it was one of their favorites. The suburban Charleston, S.C., low-country brick home, built in the 1950s, is set far back from the street. To accommodate the owners' desire for expansion yet remain sensitive to the quaint neighborhood, architect Gordon Nicholson designed an addition along the front of the house. It acts as a screen and creates a private garden space between the old and new structures. The home now has a “very modest street front, but with a hint of things to come,” the judges said. Contractor Frank Lauro, who was hands-on for much of the job, says, “Gordon has great ideas, and he let us go in and build it the way we wanted.”
In the L-shaped home, the dining room links the old and new areas; the kitchen and living room are in the front part of the addition. The judges commented on the “interesting use of materials,” adding that the home is “a collection of award-winning details.” Ceiling heights differ within the addition and from the existing home to give a different spatial experience between the spaces. For example, the dining room has a low board-and-batten ceiling with high windows on one side and sliding doors near the garden deck on the other. A mix of materials — such as slate flooring adjacent to wood flooring — was used to define old and new. Three large sliding doors, with openings in their top portion and set on parallel runners, conceal the kitchen while allowing in light.
The judges were also impressed by the “cleverness and simplicity” of the project's entry book.
- Category: Addition, $100,000 to $250,000
- Location: Charleston, S.C.
- Contractor: Frank Lauro Jr., Colonial Restoration, Charleston
- Designer: Gordon A. Nicholson, Charleston