On the Boards

 

Vernacular Traditions

This house is based on the vernacular Beaufort T House. The floor plan is shaped like a T with a wrap around porch, this allows the rooms to have great cross ventilation.

Designed for Resiliency

The first floor is raised out of the flood plain  and is finished with materials that can get wet. The large overhangs protect the walls from the rain. The impact glass in the windows and doors protect them in high winds. The house is design to be net zero, meaning that the energy produced on-site from photovoltaic panels is equal to or greater than the energy required to run the highly efficient house.

 

Designed for Outdoor Living

The large screened porches overlook a lagoon. One of the screened porches is dedicated to cooking and dining while the other is for relaxing.

Close to Custom

This house will be included in our C2C Collection and is available for purchase. Our Close to Custom plans are based on vernacular forms,  and the T-house plan builds on the theme of providing plans that inherently preform well in our hot, humid climate. See the other plans here.


Earth Day

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day it is hard to remember what our plans for today were before we became house bound. This isn’t an ordinary year. COVID-19 has dramatically altered the rhythm of our days and will continue to reshape our lives in ways we can’t foresee. That can seem overwhelming, disheartening, and frightening unless we remember that we are not defined by the challenges we face, but how we meet them personally, professionally, and as citizens of the global community.

The fact is that despite the ongoing COVID-19 global health emergency and the grim news that it brings, it is still spring. It is still a time of rejuvenation and growth, and a physical reminder of the indomitable power of the human spirit to renew itself and to grow from adversity.

Some of the lessons learned could even have positive impacts over the long term – particularly when it comes to climate progress. Scientists have catalogued the sudden plunge in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the large-scale substitution of telework and staying home for commuting and travel. Of course no one would have chosen to reduce pollution under such tragic circumstances – and, thankfully, stay-home orders aren’t permanent – but the change does help demonstrate that dramatic environmental progress is possible.

Scientists also point out an instructive parallel between the pandemic crisis and the climate crisis: If you wait until you can see the impact, it is too late to stop it. Climate experts like Elizabeth Sawin, co-director of the think tank Climate Interactive, explain that “the public is coming to understand that in that kind of situation you have to act in a way that looks disproportionate to what the current reality is, because you have to react to where that exponential growth will take you.”

Jane wrote an Earth Day article for the April issue of Architect Magazine back in February BC (Before Covid 19). It now seems like it was last year.  Robert Ivy CEO/EVP of the American Institute of Architects and Jane co-wrote an article for Earth Day this week. She was also quoted in this Forbes article on why green building are more important than ever. Finally, another BC article from Architectural Digest on how the architectural industry is responding to the climate crisis.


Improve your home

Improve Your Home During Coronavirus

I was asked by Carolina Thorpe of the London Financial Times on how to improve your home during a lockdown for an article she was writing. My quote was the lede in the story found here. My complete response to her is below.

To deal with the anxiety caused by COVID-19 and the isolation we feel from social distancing, it’s more important than ever to make sure our living quarters are healthy both physically and mentally. Protecting health starts at the front door. The recommendation I received from an infectious disease specialist is to create a transition zone at the entrance to your abode where you can remove your outer clothing and shoes and disinfect anything you are bringing inside, including yourself. This transition zone should be easily cleaned.

For our mental health we can follow the advice of Ray Davies of The Kinks, A change is as good as a rest. It is almost impossible to start home improvement projects without any supplies, but you can assess how you use the spaces. While you’re stuck inside, document your daily routine and consider how the activity can be enhanced. Does your reading chair need to be moved by the window for great natural light? Can you set up an eating space outdoors to enjoy the beautiful spring weather? Do you need to carve out a small space for some time alone for exercising, yoga or meditating? This may be more of a challenge in small spaces, but don’t underestimate the impact of minor adjustments to improve your home.

Another way to freshen your space is to move your furniture and decorative items around. Redo your tabletops, bookcases, and – if you have one, mantel. Moving art brings a whole new appreciation of the work.

Finally, this is the perfect time to plan your home renovation. Spend some time on Houzz.com to create idea books to share with us. Our team is working from home and are available for a virtual consultation. If nothing else, visualizing a positive future can be a comfort in these tough days. Check out this recently completed renovation on Long Cove, Hilton Head Island for inspiration.

 


March 2020 Under Construction

St. Simons Island

We designed this St. Simons Island house around this fabulous Live Oak. The clients wanted the house to gently fit into the neighborhood unlike some of the recent new homes that over power the street.

The swimming pool is raised to be level with the first floor. This creates privacy from the road and maximizes the great view over the marsh.

The bookmatched stone fireplace is stunning.

Fripp Island

What a great view!


Jane's Architect Magazine Article on Climate Action

Jane has written monthly articles for The Beaufort Gazette for years. Now she's got a bit of a larger readership. As AIA president, Jane has a monthly article published in Architect Magazine, The Journal of the American Institute of Architects . Her January article is called "Being What Happens, solving the climate crisis is about using our specialized skills." She urges others in the architectural profession to heed the call of activist Rebecca Solnit and "Don't ask what will happen. Be what happens."

Jane has pledged to use her year as president of AIA to, first and foremost, to advocate for solutions to the climate crisis. She and Michael are currently attending AIA Grassroots conference in New Orleans, where the AIA's comprehensive Climate Action Plan will be released.

An excerpt from her article:

The comprehensive Climate Action Plan set for release at the Grassroots Conference next month will expand on good work already underway. Through AIA’s partnerships with the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Climate Mayors, we’re making inroads to ensure sustainability and resilience are prioritized in cities throughout the nation. Our advocacy for building codes and climate policies at local, state, and federal levels is driving action. AIA’s coordination with building product manufacturers and other industry stakeholders is highlighting the imperative of sustainable materials and practices through every aspect of the built environment. And it’s all supported by programs that supply AIA members with the tools we need to lead and to serve as true citizen architects.

Here is a link to the full text. 

Tom, Benjie and I are holding down the fort at Frederick + Frederick, immensely proud of Jane's advocacy. We hear its not all  hard work down in New Orleans (it's almost Mardi Gras, after all), so we're a teeny bit jealous too.

New Orleans
Jane, hamming it up at Grassroots in New Orleans, on a tour of a Mardi Gras float warehouse.

 

 

 


Inauguration Festivities

Jane was welcomed by 2019 AIA President Bill Bates at her inauguration as the 96th president of The American Institute of Architects. The entire family and office traveled to Washington, DC to celebrate. Jane gave a speech that Benjie recorded here. Afterwards everyone enjoyed dancing the night away. David Lauderdale with the Island Packet wrote a great article about Jane.


Jane inaugurated as the 2020 President of The American Institute of Architects

WASHINGTON – Dec. 16, 2019 - The American Institute of Architects (AIA) inaugurated Jane Frederick, FAIA, as its 96th president on Friday, Dec. 13.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to join the distinguished line of presidents who have led the American Institute of Architects,” said Frederick. “As I step into this role, I’m asking what will happen for us in this next year. At this moment in the world’s history, the answer couldn’t be more clear, that 2020 must be the year architects assert our leadership and have a meaningful impact in climate action.”

Frederick has held a myriad of leadership positions at the AIA, including serving as the AIA 2019 first vice president; South Atlantic Regional representative on the Strategic Council; at-large director on the National Board; and president of AIA South Carolina. Additionally, she has served on the AIA Small Firm Round Table Executive Committee and NAAB Accreditation teams. She has also chaired numerous local planning boards and is a Liberty Fellow.

Her award-winning firm Frederick + Frederick Architects—where she is a principal—in Beaufort, South Carolina, specializes in custom residences and has earned 18 state and local design awards. It was honored with AIA South Carolina’s 2017 Firm Award as well as Southern Living Magazine’s Best Renovation of 2009.

Frederick earned her Bachelor of Architecture from Auburn University. She is licensed in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and also holds LEED AP certification.

AIA elects its presidents (who are volunteer leaders within AIA’s membership of 95,000) on an annual basis. Frederick will serve as the Institute’s president until Dec. 4, 2020. Complete details of AIA’s leadership are available online.

About AIA

Founded in 1857, AIA consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through more than 200 international, state and local chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing.

AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards.


Thomas Rhodes House wins AIA Honor Award

At the AIA South Carolina annual awards banquet on September 26, 2019, Frederick + Frederick Architects received an AIA Historic Preservation Honor Award for the Rhodes House located at 314 Laurens Street in downtown Beaufort. The Honor Award is the highest honor that the American Institute of Architects South Carolina Chapter can bestow upon a South Carolina architectural firm for historic preservation. The award is given in recognition of design excellence.

The house was originally built in 1790 and was owned by the Rhodes family prior to the Civil War. Oral history recounts that Clara Barton stayed in the house when she came to Beaufort to provide relief after the 1893 hurricane. The primary structure is a classic I-House form, one room thick, raised foundations, tall ceilings, with double front porches on the southern elevation.

Cheryl Morgan, FAIA, jury chair said, This is historic preservation done right! The fine design of the original house shines through and nothing in the plan adjustments distracts. They only make it a much more livable house.

Read more about the Thomas Rhodes House here


Heritage Tourism

In my role as president-elect of the American Institute of Architects, I recently led our delegation to the Union of International Architects’ forum in Baku, Azerbaijan. The focus of the forum was mass tourism in historic cities. The information was very practical for our historic town of Beaufort and the expected increase in tourism for the National Reconstruction Monument as well as general tourism on Hilton Head Island and the rest of Beaufort County.

Richard Engelhardt, Professor of Architecture, University of Hong Kong, and former UNESCO Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific, posed three questions that the forum set out to answer:

 How can you protect the authenticity and historic integrity of the city?

There needs to be a data driven integrated approach to tourism that local governments can use to make rules and regulations to manage tourism. Engelhardt said that one of the most important steps is that the city’s heritage plan and tourism plan have to be incorporated into one cohesive master plan. Nagore Espinosa, CEO at in2destination said that a successful tourism development plan includes all the systems in a city; transportation, health care, city planning, and emergency planning.

How does tourism add to the betterment of the community without compromising the significance of place?

Espinosa emphasized that tourism is a happiness business for tourists but more importantly for the residents and that “We cannot manage – what we cannot measure.” Tourism management based on data allows local government to enact regulations and provide the necessary resources to protect both the significance of place and the residents. Engelhardt stressed that the tourism industry has an obligation to the community and needs to invest in the restoration and maintenance of the heritage sites and natural resources; this should not be on the back of the local or national government.

How do you integrate tourism infrastructure into urban planning?

Engelhardt expressed that the carrying capacity of the infra-structure has to be realistically determined and incorporated into the plan. The local lack of infrastructure integration with tourism planning is visible every Saturday on the clogged highways heading onto Hilton Head and Fripp Islands for the weekly rental turnover. By staggering rental weeks to start on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday the traffic could be reduced by a quarter as well as alleviating the crowded grocery stores.

Bálint Kádár, Assoc. Professor Budapest University of Technology and Economics spoke on the importance of understanding how tourist and residents interact in the city. He measured urban tourism by the quantification of geo-tagged photographs from open source data gathered from Flickr over a ten year period. People were categorized in three different groups:

  1. Tourists were identified by spending 3 or 4 days in a city and never returning. Sites visited mainly by tourists were coded red.
  2. Locals were identified by taking photographs over multiple months and years in a city. Locals’ locations were tagged green. Sites visited by equally by tourists and locals were tagged white.
  3. Long term tourists were identified by taking photographs in a city over several weeks or months and then leaving for extremely long periods of time. They were also coded red.

He used the data to compare Vienna and Prague because they have similar number of tourists every year. Each city had around 30 popular sites. In Vienna, there were 15 sites mainly visited by locals and 3 mainly visited by tourists with the balance visited equally by tourists and locals. The research showed the complete opposite in Prague with 15 sites dominated by tourists and 3 by locals. In Prague, locals no longer have access to their heritage sites. The authenticity and historic integrity of the city is lost when tourists take over the heritage sites and the city itself.

This tourist takeover can be mitigated by expanding the carrying capacity by including cultural activities such as plays and concerts as well as promoting outlying areas from the typical tourist sites.

In Beaufort County’s current strategic plan there is a goal of expanding heritage tourism. As citizens let’s insist that the County develops a data driven plan that is coordinated with all the municipalities and the military to  ensure that the tourism industry is creating happiness for both the visitor but more importantly for us, the residents.

 


Exterior Spring Island Architecture

Construction Update- Hilton Head Island, Spring Island

Long Cove Club Renovation, Hilton Head Island

Iron work by Ahern's Anvil

This custom rail is being installed in the major renovation happening in Long Cove in Hilton Head Island. Sean Ahern of Ahern's Anvil is the blacksmith. I visited his shop in Charleston a while back and was super impressed with his work. I'd recommend checking out his portfolio at  http://www.ahernsanvil.com/ to see beautiful and unique ironwork.

Here are a few more photos of the Long Cove House. It's a major renovation of an existing house, but it is going to be like a new house when we are finished, we have touched every room. The house will be updated and so much more functional after the renovation. Our clients often grapple with whether they should renovate an existing house, or tear it down and rebuild. We usually find that it is less expensive to renovate, even if the renovation is extensive. It is more sustainable, also!

Port Royal Plantation, Hilton Head Island

This house has incredible marsh views and lots of windows to capture those views. The style is clean and contemporary, but it still reflects lowcountry architectural traditions. I can't wait to see this house furnished!

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Spring Island, Beaufort, SC

We've shown you this gem on Spring Island a good bit lately, it's just so pretty! We are looking forward to getting a professional photographer in, once the landscaping and final punch list items are completed. This house has about 10 kW of solar panels on the roof and a Tesla Powerwall 2 battery for back-up storage. We can't wait to find out what the power generation is like after the owners have been using it awhile. Interested in more information about rooftop solar? Check out our post here. The landscaping here is by Thomas Angell of Verdant Enterprises. We enjoy working together and have a similar mindset about keeping the site native and natural and fitting the house into the site (rather than vice-versa).

St. Simons Island, Georgia

The house on St. Simons is looking really great. This is another project that we are collaborating with Thomas Angell of Verdant Enterprises on. We just love how that giant oak camouflages the house. The maple front door and the cypress ceilings are very handsome, its so exciting to see finish materials on the house!

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