Drayton Hall Modern Facilities – Preliminary Schematic Design

March 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

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Thomas and Denzinger Architects along with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Wertimer & Associates recently presented the preliminary schematic design for the Modern Facilities at Drayton Hall.  This facility will offer the visitor a more in-depth understanding of the Drayton Hall mansion, its architecture, a gentlemen’s plantation, and the Drayton Family.  Through a process of interviews, research, and comparative site visits, a master plan was developed for the entire 125 acre site.  This allowed a better understanding of the historical, natural, and manmade features of the site that are not readily apparent.  One aspect that helped to guide the planning process has been the cultural landscape features.  There are a series of ditches and berms that were created when phosphate mining was profitable on the site.  They are currently hidden and being erased by the new growth in the wooded areas.  As part of the new facilities landscape, these historic features will be cleaned and preserved.  The new Center uses these features, extensive marsh setbacks and the existing, already disturbed, parking area as its boundaries and organizational informants.

Set back in the woods to allow little visual noise from the house, the Facilities endeavor to blend with nature.  The building is an apparatus for the proliferation of nature.  The exterior form and treatment is thought of more as a garden structure than a building.  At the same time the interior program pieces- exhibit rooms, retail, event space, orientation theater and offices- are offered dappled views of the mansion’s base through the trees.  This visible but not visible duality is critical so that the gallery spaces and artifacts feel connected to a place and not just on display.  While the house does not need the facilities to maintain its stature, the vast amounts of information discovered about it need a venue for display.  The facilities will offer an unprecedented view into a Drayton Hall that is currently locked in storage.


AIA South Carolina 2012 Robert Mills Honor Award

March 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

We are pleased to announce the 2012 AIASC Robert Mills Residential Design Awards Jury has awarded Thomas & Denzinger an Honor Award in the New Construction category for the Keough House on Brays Island, South Carolina.

This project began as a vision of a garden on the site with classic brick walls creating rooms among the great trees and surrounding vistas. As the spatial design evolved into the house forms, a material exploration began. Concrete, stucco, and Hebel block emerged as sturdy building materials for a seamless garden-house that could be energy conscious and age like true garden walls. A beautiful timber hat that covers the interior rooms, and cedar doors and cabinets warm up the indoor outdoor stucco concrete material palette. Insulated building panels on the roof and pvc ductwork buried in the temperature constant soil beneath the slab have made this building very energy efficient. The simple inside outside material choices were made to compliment the garden planting and the owners eclectic collections throughout the house.

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Center of Arts and Academics wins SC CEFPI Honor Award

March 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Thomas & Denzinger Architects is excited to have been recognized by the Council of Educational Facility Planners for the design of the Center of Arts and Academics in North Charleston, SC.  The state chapter of CEFPI awarded the facility an Honor Award for 2012, and this project was completed by the Denzinger Studio of Thomas & Denzinger.

The Center of Arts and Academics is essentially a small campus of several buildings which house two magnet schools for the Charleston County School District, the nationally recognized Academic Magnet High School and the School of the Arts, a middle and high school.

By operating under the belief that learning happens not just in the classroom but in the in-between spaces,  a campus with nine separate buildings was created that are all connected by a central exterior covered walkway or “Stoa.”   This spine is the central feature of the school, linking academics and arts.  Beyond its purely functional use as an architectural element of connection, circulation and energy distribution, it provides a place for casual and spontaneous interaction between students and faculty.  Along the length of the spine, a series of architectural elements or pavilions articulate the entrance to each of the different buildings or departments that branch off from the central walkway.  Within the portion of the spine housing the arts magnet school – from its core academic buildings on one side to the various studios, rehearsal rooms, and theater on the other – the spine provides an outdoor classroom, an outdoor rehearsal room or impromptu stage.  Along the portion of the spine connecting the common facilities such as the cafeteria and gymnasium, outdoor recreational spaces for dining, congregation, and recess complement the spine.

Through the shared campus of these two magnet schools, the Charleston County School District now has state of the art facilities to support the development of the exceptional student talent it houses, both artistic and academic.

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