This Spring Island site overlooks the Colleton River to the south. The Mays wanted a house with a contemporary edge that would fit into a community of traditional vernacular houses. The program for the future retirement house included a separate living and dining room, den, his and her offices, a guesthouse with four bedrooms, exercise room and one additional guest room in the main house.
The main floor is one room wide with porches on both sides. The plan is open with set pieces of the fireplace and cabinets defining the individual rooms. The screen porch radius is emphasized in the radial cut ipe floorboards and cypress ceilings. Above the screen porch is a sleeping porch leading to a third level widow’s walk with a commanding view south. Board and batten cypress siding is detailed to locate a batten at every window jamb that becomes the widow trim.
The street side of the house is more traditional to blend with the neighborhood while the riverside is filled with glass to capture the views. The motor court is surrounded by a guesthouse on the east, a garage and exercise building on the west, and the main house on the south. The guesthouse has 4 bedrooms, a living room, and a screen porch.
The main house follows the orthogonal lines of the outbuilding on the western side and skews on the east to avoid trees and the 100-foot setback from the Colleton River. This skew gives the interior spaces and the porch a sweeping view to the river. The antique brick two-sided fireplace becomes the knuckle between the two grids. With no porch in front of the living and stair hall these spaces have an uninterrupted view. A cantilevered cherry staircase provides a transparent view as soon as the front door is opened.