Today's post is light on words and heavy on pictures.
In a recent discussion with my mom about the blog, she asked "Is your blog only going to be about modern architecture?" It was kind of in that accusatory tone where you know that you've done something wrong. And before I could answer she followed up with "Does LS3P (my firm) only design modern buildings?" I felt like she was interviewing me for a job and I definitely was not going to get said job.
So that got me thinking. Maybe this week should be dedicated to modern architecture?.....I'm a big fan of themes and definitely appreciate modern design. And so it was.....In honor of my mom, and perhaps in a passive-aggressive fit of rebellion, I am dedicating this week to modern architecture. Take that mom!
Charleston is a town known for its historic architecture, fine cuisine and southern hospitality. But if you look hard enough, you will discover a few modern things snuck into the mix. In fact our new neighborhood, Cannonborough/Elliotborough is slowly becoming a breeding ground for these little modern happenings.
This is a photo diary taken while walking our dog, Buckminster. Enjoy!
Architect: AJ Architects
Xiao Bao Biscuit Restaurant
Architect: Studio A
Looking for a unique and delicious meal that is a little off the beaten path? Xiao Bao Biscuit is where it's at. They describe their cuisine as Asian comfort food. Ummm...yes please!
A block down from Xiao Bao is the Fuel Restaurant. Both Fuel and Xiao Bao are former gas stations. The re-use of one type of building for a new use is referred to as adaptive re-use.
I have heard that back in the day, this part of town was called gas station alley. Prior to the construction of interstate 95, travelers would often drive through this part of Charleston on their voyage South. Hence, the prevalence of gas stations in this part of town.
Former Fuzzco Location
Architect: Thompson Young Design
This is a simple little storefront renovation by John Thompson and Simmons Young of Thompson Young Design. Remember that modern rule: "less is more." These guys nailed it.
Groupings of very similar or identical houses are often called 'Sister Houses.' These 3 sisters are pretty traditional on their front elevations but are a bit modern on their sides and back. In a ways, this is the architectural version of the infamous mullet haircut. Business in the front, party in the back!
Brown's Court Bakery
Brown's Court Bakery is another project that is rocking the architectural mullet. Business in the front, party in the back! From the street it appears to be your typical Charleston Single House. In the back there is a small glassy modern addition. Fans of modernism would refer to this modern addition as a 'modern intervention.' Opponents of modernism would refer to this as a 'modern parasite.' Or they might say that it belongs in Charlotte, Atlanta or Houston.
The Single House is the most common and iconic housing style in Charleston. It is a long and skinny house that is one room wide and features a linear porch referred to as a piazza that is located on the Southern or Western side of the house. The Single House is very sustainable in its layout. All rooms get cross ventilation, adequate daylight and the harshest sun exposures are protected by the piazza. I plan to write a blog dedicated to the Single House.
Midtown of Charleston Development
Architect: Neil Stevenson Architect
The Midtown Development is probably the largest group of modern architecture in Charleston. These houses are all modern interpretations of the Charleston Single House.
The Cantilevered Balcony
Here are examples of traditional buildings that have been renovated to incorporate some modern details. In an effort to save space, these houses have cantilevered balconies that appear to float. I feel like I've already talked about the cantilever too much on this site. But it is a favorite of modernists.
These last 2 buildings are not modern by any stretch of the imagination. They are both art galleries and both feature very large panes of glass at the ground floor storefront. The art work is prominently displayed in the windows which creates a sort of 'sidewalk gallery' effect. In essence, the artwork has become an important component of the building facade, which is why I felt they were both appropriate for this blog.
There are a ton of art galleries in Charleston, although a majority of those galleries will be found South of Calhoun Street and in the French Quarter neighborhood. We are lucky to have 2 contemporary art galleries in our neighborhood!
And that wraps up this week's tour of Cannonborough/Elliotborough. If you are mad at me for rebelling against my mom, rest-assured....at heart I am a momma's boy and I am already working on a post about the historic architecture of the South of Broad neighborhood...for my mom.