Working with Excellent Landscape Architects: Recommended

Design collaboration with Verdant Enterprises, the landscape architect on this beachfront Kiawah Island design. As an architect, I realize how critically important landscape architecture can be to provide the proper setting for a design.  That is why we always recommend to our clients that strong consideration be given to retaining top landscape design talent.  Working with Verdant Enterprises, as we did with the Kiawah Island "Healthy House" just completed this fall, was key in maximizing the potential for this site and the attributes that it contained.  Thomas Angell and his staff worked carefully with the architecture, incorporating the clients' particular wishes and needs for their utilization of the site.

Lake Katherine renovation in Columbia, Sc with landscape architecture by Sheila Wertimer Landscape Architect

We have also had great experience collaborating with top talent like Sheila Wertimer Landscape Architect and Outdoor Spatial Design in Charleston. Charles Stick opened our eyes to the site making potential of a 24 acre Charlottesville estate site.  It is a very important aspect to creating and making architecture that maximizes it potential and relationship to its particular context.

Residence in Charlottesville, Va with landscape architecture by Charles Stick Landscape Architect

She Fits

Restored 1994 Land Rover Defender 110; we modified the design of the garage bay so that she could clear the door. Well into the framing of the Healthy House on Kiawah Island, our client came to with a question: what was the clearance beneath the garage doors? With the 7' doors designed, the clearance would be something like 6'8", enough clearance for most road vehicles.  However, the owner's didn't have just any vehicle in mind.  Work was already underway to rebuild a 1994 Land Rover Defender 110, which stands 7' tall without the roof rack.  Could we make it taller: yes, and we did.  We designed an increase in the height of this bay in a way that would not be detrimental to the composition of the elevation.  The 110 arrived this weekend, and she passed the test....barely.

Defender 110, making it by that much...and making the garage look much better


Moveable Pool Floor Tile Completed

Tile mosaic from Sicis installed We'll be ready to commission the moveable pool floor at the Healthy House soon. The tile mosaic from Sicis has been installed.  Next comes filling the pool below the floor and execution of the system.  Exciting stuff.

Bunking up at the woodshop

L-shaped bunk bed array from the future wall's perspective. I stopped by JMO Woodworks a couple of weeks ago to see about the progress of the custom bunk beds that we designed for the Kiawah Island "Healthy House."  It was good to see the progress with Nic at the helm.

Upper bed frame joining support wall detail; all-poplar framing make a stable and solid construction.

As with everything involved with this residence, the construction of the bunkbeds contains no plywood with formaldehyde content.  The framing is solid poplar with some PureBond plywood.  The bunks are being trimmed out with painted poplar and teak brightwork, which will accent the top edge of the bed rails.

Plywoods with any formaldehyde in the binding resins, even the less noxious Phenyl- formaldehyde, can off-gas for an extended period of time.  Removing it from the construction negates as a potential health risk.

The use of poplar for the framing makes for a very stable and solid substrate.  There is less swelling with humidity changes than with pine, which makes poplar a better choice for these furniture grade bunk beds.

High strength steel screws-both screw tip flat head and narrower screws used for pocket assembly-bind the bed together with enough strength to hold up to the future abuse of four rambunctious boys and their pals.

Stop-chamfer detail on bottom edge of ribs, high strength flat head screws countersunk appropriately.

Bed rail framing detail with PureBond plywood and poplar.

Bunks installed in the space on Monday. Finishing will be completed in place. Photo: RCA

Movable Pool Floor Rises

Meanwhile, in Dr. Zero's secret subterranean lair... Work is progressing on the swimming pool at the Healthy House on Kiawah Island.  This pool, being built by Charleston's Aqua Blue Pools and HydroFloors of Belgium, requires extraordinary precision and patience.  Aqua Blue's tilesetters have been working in the pool shell for a considerable period of time already, mostly fairing out the walls that contain the water and serve as the tile substrate. They must be  straight and plumb to a tolerance of 1/8" so that the movable pool floor mechanism will function correctly.

Two tilesetters labor carefully on the installation of the glass material lining the sidewalls of the pool at this Kiawah Island residence

I visited the site yesterday and surveyed the tile setters at work.  They have the top of pool tented off to keep the weather off and likely to reduce the amount of dust and debris that might rain upon them from the stone and tile installation work happening at the pool deck above them.  This business occasionally produces some strange scenes, and this is one of them.