This low-cost wooden home overlooking the salt marsh on St Helena Island in South Carolina was built as a big screened-in porch. The inhabitants, a couple, wanted a home that would allow them to live outdoors for nine months each year. The house blends perfectly into the surroundings dominated by a 200-year-old oak tree with seven trunks. The couple fondly named the tree "Seven Sisters."
Sabrina Terry and Jon Lamb decided to leave Boston and move to the South, where they have been vacationing for years. The couple commissioned architects Frank Harmon and Jacob Burke to design a house which would take advantage of the mild climate in the Low Country and function as an open-air structure that offers views of the Harbor River and Hunting Island marshes.
Because the site is located in a flood zone, the house had to be elevated 14 feet above sea level. Most of the spaces function as screened porches. This type of construction is not only adequate for the mild winters of the region, it is also cost effective and easy to build. The structure makes most of the prevailing breezes and natural light and solar gain in the winter. With a sloping roof clad in standing-seam aluminium creates a deep overhang on the southern side and creates a shaded area where the owners can sit in the summer and enjoy the views of the marshes.
Photos by Richard Leo Johnson