Westside Duplex / Boyd Architects
Manufacturers: Sierra Pacific Windows, Signature Hardware, TruExterior
Text description provided by the architects. Downtown Charleston is among the most historic and protected urban environments in the United States. An enormous amount of pressure has been generated on the existing low-rise housing stock by strict Architectural oversight, flooding, rapid growth, and a myriad of other factors. This has forced all speculative projects to engage in a rigorous design process to contend with the constellation of forces governing any given piece of land.
Westside Duplex is a strategic infill development in Charleston’s historic Westside neighborhood. The community is located between the arterial Septima Clark Parkway and Hampton Park, the largest green space on the peninsula. A significant portion of the neighborhood sits on sandy infill land and virtually all properties are located within a flood zone.
Built within what was formerly a backyard for the adjacent corner lot, the building is comprised of two townhouse-style units that were meticulously designed to maximize the development potential of the constrained site. The resulting form represents what is effectively the as-of-right condition articulated by the zoning, parking, flood zone, tree protection, and functional requirements. Each of the two units is 1,500 SF and has three bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, and a roof terrace. The side-loaded entries are bound by powder-coated aluminum screens which offer privacy from the busy street and help subvert the reading of a lifted house. While technically one building, a large vertical break in the front cantilever delineates the elevations of the two units.
The facades and materiality represent contemporary interpretations of historic Charleston architectural motifs. The building is clad with common lap siding, but executed with a thicker poly-ash material that allows for mitered corners and the elimination of trim boards. The windows are finished using standard trim boards but rotated and installed on end to give the perception of depth and contribute to the dramatic shadow patterns established by the siding.