the new tylerasmyth.com

12 May

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Many thanks to the good people at Slant Media for the assistance with the new website, tylerasmyth.com.  Please visit the new site, as this one will be shut down soon.  Tylerasmyth.com will continue to have designsmyth, the reformatted blog component, as a part of the site so that I can keep you all up to date with the current work and foolish things that interest me.

The Sidewalk Sculptor

7 May
The Artist of the mysterious City of Charleston sidewalk grinding specialist, plying his trade yesterday outside of our Ashley Avenue home.

The artistry of the mysterious City of Charleston sidewalk grinding specialist, who plied his trade yesterday outside of our Ashley Avenue home.

Like me, you may have never seen him (or her?). But if you’ve walked around the sidewalks of downtown Charleston then you, too, have seen his work.  Perhaps you have admired it as well. The tools employed in making his art are unknown to me, but his subtlety and feathery touch are something to behold.

That’s right: the City of Charleston Sidewalk Sculptor made an appearance yesterday outside of our home on Ashley Avenue.  I hadn’t even noticed the uneven pavement before, but no matter: the Sidewalk Sculptor noticed. He swooped down, mitigated the offending concrete, and then disappeared. That’s what he (or she) does.

One more reason why Charleston is the Greatest City on the Planet*.

*thank you Conde Nast

 

Site for Johns Island River House

4 May
View toward the Stono River on Johns Island

View toward the Stono River on Johns Island

We’ll soon be under permit for the construction of a new residence designed for our clients on their beautiful Johns Island property. I visited the site again yesterday to take a final look at the building footprint staked-out on the property.

New home site on the Stono River.

New home site on the Stono River.

The new river house that we designed will be sited on the 9 acre parcel to take advantage of the strengths of the property–numerous grand live oaks and large pines, short and long river views, mature understory flora, among others–while framing views to conceal the presence of the few neighboring residences nearby. We are re-routing the entry drive to skirt the edge a beautiful glade of native ferns clustered near the road.

This glade of native ferns near the road will greet those arriving at the property year round along the re-routed entry drive to the residence.

This glade of native ferns near the road will greet those arriving at the property year round along the  entry drive to the residence.

Stakes marking the corners of the proposed residence give us an opportunity to make adjustments to the final positioning.

Stakes and surveying tape marking the corners of the proposed residence give us an opportunity to make adjustments to the final positioning.

We are happy to be working with RM Buck Builders, who will be constructing the residence.  A quality, family-run business, we were pleased to join them off of Kiawah to apply their quality control systems to the construction of this residence.  We’re also thrilled to have the support of Rebekah Carter and her Red Element Design Studio in assisting our clients with the selections for the interior. Rebekah is doing a fabulous and professional job, as usual.

A post with some conceptual designs for the new residence can be found via this link.

This tree and two other marsh-side oaks were key in determining the design and orientation of the residence.

This tree and two other marsh-side oaks were key in determining the design and orientation of the residence.

Turbeville Tower

28 Apr
This radio tower and integrated brick shed seen yesterday near Turbeville made me wonder which came first.

This radio tower and integrated brick shed seen yesterday near Turbeville made me wonder which came first.

I had a big driving day on Sunday, heading from Charleston to Myrtle Beach, and then circling back to Sumter for a friend’s engagement party.  I was in Myrtle Beach for a couple of hours tending to some business, and admit that that satisfied me for another year or so.  Aside from that part of my day, it was a pretty relaxing drive, especially along the lonesome stretch between Conway and Sumter.  It was a reminder of how empty and lonesome the Pee Dee region can be.

Driving close to Turbeville, I noticed this old steel radio tower beside a farmhouse that was inscribing a brick shed at its base.  Built so tightly together, the minor overhangs were enveloping the four principal supports as well as the cross bracing. Maybe this is a old Ham radio setup? I thought it was an interesting form and integration between these two elements.

Turbeville tower as seen along the roadside between Conway and Sumter yesterday.

Turbeville tower as seen along the roadside between Conway and Sumter yesterday.

 

LEED Renovation on Kiawah Island Underway

26 Apr
Framing underway for Kiawah Island cottage renovation designed for LEED certification.

Framing underway for Kiawah Island cottage renovation designed for LEED certification.

The complete renovation of an Ocean Woods Cottage on Kiawah Island is underway.  We’ve designed the renovation, which will have a distinctly contemporary feel, in accordance with US Green Building Council’s LEED standards, and are hoping for LEED Gold Certification. The layout and feel of the living spaces will be completely different from another Ocean Woods project that we completed last year, owing to different opportunities that the sites presented and the distinct tastes of the clients. It will be an interesting test of the design flexibility possible in these simple and virtually identical units. We are working with the same contractor, River Creek Construction, on this one as we did on the last.

New Homes near Hampstead Square in Charleston

24 Apr
Front elevation of two new homes designed for the rear of an Eastside property near Hampstead Square.

Front elevation of two new homes designed for the rear of an Eastside property near Hampstead Square.

We’re glad to be working on the design of two new homes to be constructed to the rear of a existing home, c.1900, located in the Hampstead Square area of the Eastside.

We are proposing a design that is considerably under the maximum height available, and have been drawing from the classic carriage house typology in our approach: simple, linear, and no taller than necessary, while drawing inspiration from the beautiful lines and proportions of the house in front.  Restoration of the original house will begin shortly, and then the construction of these homes will follow.

26 Blake St, soon to be restored. This is the last remaining example of its type in the Eastside of Charleston.

26 Blake St, soon to be restored. This is the last remaining example of its type in the Eastside of Charleston.

We are excited for the potential of creating a new work of architecture in the Eastside, a neighborhood which has been long neglected in historic Charleston.  Hampstead Square is around the corner from this property, while the former home and shop of the late preeminent blacksmith Philip Simmons is two properties to the west. Earlier in my career, I assisted Mr. Simmons in the retrofitting of his home to make tours of his shop by interested visitors possible.  It is nice to work on the improvement of the street on which he lived for most of his life.

The late Philip Simmons in his shop at 30 1/2 Blake Street, Charleston. Photo: Philip Simmons Foundation

The late Philip Simmons in his shop at 30 1/2 Blake Street, Charleston. Photo: Philip Simmons Foundation

In my opinion, and that of Kris King, the newly elected President of the Preservation Society of Charleston, Hampstead Square is the next great neighborhood in Charleston to experience a rebirth.  We discussed the potential of Hampstead Squaretogether in reference to this project  a couple of weeks ago.  My good friend Robbie Marty Patterson just opened The Palace Hotel, a great bar just west of the square, a few weeks ago.  Excellent hot dogs for those of you in the mood for a tube steak, and who isn’t?

Site for new Beresford Hall design

16 Apr
Views from back of homesite toward the Wando River, more than 7 miles away

Views from back of homesite toward the Wando River, more than 7 miles away.

We are in the programming phase for a new home design for a fabulous property in Beresford Hall.  The principal exposure is to the southeast, with extraordinarily long views over Nowell Creek and toward the Wando River.

Scattered trees and foliage across the high marsh provide interesting views to the northeast from the rear of the homesite.

Scattered trees and foliage across the high marsh provide interesting views to the northeast from the rear of the homesite.

Though the site is heavily wooded with small pines and a handful of scrawny hardwoods, there is one interesting, bleached-out ghost tree toward the front of the site.  It appears to be stable and is great looking, reminding me of the tress in the boneyard on the beach at Little Capers Inlet. I’m considering ways to retain this tree as an element around which to organize some of the landscape design.

Ghost tree on Beresford Hall homesite

Ghost tree on Beresford Hall home site.

Tree in bone yard on beach at Botany Bay Plantation. Photo credit: Donni Mac

Tree in bone yard on beach at Botany Bay Plantation. Photo credit: Donni Mac

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