Charleston Magazine - October 2016 Issue - River Redux


The beginning for this James Island project was back in 1998, when Jeffrey Rosenblum of Rosenblum Coe Architects Inc. asked Wertimer to collaborate with the homeowners and builder Steve Brenner of Solaris, Inc. to transform a ’50s-era ranch on a sprawling lot into a contemporary compound that takes full advantage of its riverfront perch. The Atlanta-based owners, who have childhood roots in Charleston, were looking for a “back home”-away-from-home where they could escape Atlanta’s congestion, savor being on the water, and have plenty of room for grandchildren to romp and adults to relax.

The new addition addresses all the earlier shortcomings and more: the room—large enough for casual entertaining or for a group to watch a ballgame; cozy enough for reading or a glass of wine and conversation—showcases the expansive view. Its centerpiece is an impressive glass façade, an uninterrupted floor-to-ceiling wall that serves up a Wappoo panorama.

While stunning, the glass wall was a bit of a stunner, too, tasking Rosenblum with figuring out how to support the roof, skylights, and structure that could withstand hurricane winds without using any view-impeding beams or columns. “It’s one thing to sketch out a great design, then another to make it buildable,” he laughs. “That was the fun part.” He and his clients also wanted the addition to blend in with the existing exterior architecture, but not be a total mimic, a request Rosenblum satisfied by borrowing the brick and fascia details but using a different type of glazing. 


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