Outdoor Sanctuary

Beaufort, South Carolina is a historic coastal town with a hot, humid climate. The historic architecture vernacular addressed the climate with large overhangs, large porches, high ceilings and single-width houses for cross ventilation. A historic building material used is tabby, a concrete recipe made from oyster shells, sand, and lime. Tabby ruins are found just blocks away from the T-House.  These vernacular traditions inspired the T-House while extending the design language. Contemporary tabby is on the foundation and chimney.

The clients desired a retirement retreat modest in size yet gracious in feel. We accomplished this by placing the kitchen at the intersection of the T and opening it to both the dining and the living rooms. The one-room-wide house spills outside with large doors and north facing windows. We slightly rotated the house on the pie shaped lot to take advantage of the long view to the NNE and a tidal view to the NW.  The placement of the house in the rear of the lot buffers it from the more traditional houses in the neighborhood.


Weather Resistant

The T-House was designed to withstand coastal hurricanes and the harsh environment, to be energy-efficient, and sustainable. The windows and doors have impact glass. The Hardie-Plank siding is extremely durable and is installed over a rainscreen. The large overhangs protect the walls from rain. The open cell spray insulation, highly efficient HVAC system, and instantaneous water heater all contribute to overall sustainability for the house.

On Budget

Economically Engineered

The T- House also had a modest budget and we were very judicious in getting the most for our client’s money. Design strategies for saving money included a four-foot module to minimize material waste, concrete floors, a 5-V metal roof, porcelain tile, economy stone slabs, slab doors and cabinets and standard appliances. We also massaged the programmatic elements in both plan & section to make the most of the available square footage. The pantry is under the stairs. The upstairs office doubles as a guest room with a Jack and Jill bath. The laundry/mudroom serves as the dog feeding area and a small desk is in the hall between the kitchen and laundry. We splurged in the powder room with the live edge countertop and the custom bookcases to highlight the client’s camera collection.

We retained Frederick + Frederick to design our new home in Beaufort, SC, and it was a very wise decision. The Frederick’s seamlessly handled the design, prepared construction drawings, scheduled interviews with recommended contractors, and conducted weekly inspections during construction of our home. We lived 9 hours away and greatly looked forward to the weekly reports, which included numerous photos and drone videos (very cool). Throughout the process we not only had someone “holding our hand”, but we also had assistance in narrowing down every selection/decision to just a handful, in lieu of the hundreds we may otherwise have faced.
We would have no hesitation in recommending the Frederick’s to anyone needing a “one stop shop” (from permit to occupancy) or simply help with a home’s design, they can do it all.
Creating an environment for a healthy retirement was essential to our design. We accomplished this with excellent air quality, connecting to nature, natural lighting and detailing for aging in place. The aging in place details include 3 foot wide doors, flush entry to the shower, grab bars, first-floor master bedroom, a ramp from the garage to the house and thoughtful lighting.
Jane Frederick
Managing Principal