Workstead House in Charleston, South Carolina | Yellowtrace

Workstead House in Charleston, South Carolina | Yellowtrace

Workstead House in Charleston, South Carolina | Yellowtrace

Workstead House in Charleston, South Carolina | Yellowtrace

Workstead House in Charleston, South Carolina | Yellowtrace

Workstead House in Charleston, South Carolina | Yellowtrace

 

There is something delicious about the prospect of taking a dilapidated building and restoring it to its former grandeur. Every architect and designer worth their salt has a moment of salivation at the mere thought of taking a tumbledown old house and breathing life back into it.

Whilst mere mortals might have been a little wary of the massive undertakings required to bring the three-storey terrace on Bee’s Row Charleston, South Carolina to life, the founding duo of the Brooklyn design studio Workstead, Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler, fell decidedly in love with the prospect.

The house, built in 1853, is one of four brownstones built on historic Bee’s Row in Charleston, in the Harleston Village neighbourhood. Taken over during the Civil War the properties were used as warehouses for goods smuggled through the Union blockade during the Civil War. Distinguished by their terracotta pediments, cast iron fences and elaborate interior mouldings, these tall row houses resemble similar structures built in Savannah, Philadelphia, and Baltimore in the mid-19th century. Although each house has been altered over the years, each retains their original Italianate-style stone mantels and console-bracketed arch door surrounds ordered from New England.

 

Related: Selected Projects By Workstead.

 

Workstead House in Charleston, South Carolina | Yellowtrace

Workstead House in Charleston, South Carolina | Yellowtrace

Workstead House in Charleston, South Carolina | Yellowtrace

Workstead House in Charleston, South Carolina | Yellowtrace

Workstead House in Charleston, South Carolina | Yellowtrace

Workstead House in Charleston, South Carolina | Yellowtrace

 

Workstead were keen to explore the language of what they refer to as ‘Southern Modernism’ – a style that is highly contextual and uniquely situated in the greater setting of the South. The materials selected are rich and honest and are meant to last. They installed new plumbing and wiring and restored all the old original details such as the doors, the windows, the mouldings and the stairs. The timber flooring was sourced and installed with the help of local artisans. As much as possible everything was preserved and meticulously restored. Modern conveniences were carefully incorporated and new materials introduced. The rooms are painted a honeyed-stone hue and furnished with brass lighting, bespoke cabinetry and furniture designed by the pair.

The terrace comes with its own carriage house, which also needs to be totally restored but the designers are happy to wait to complete it. Neither of them like the idea of an instant house, preferring instead the opportunity for the house and carriage house to evolve over a period of time.

 

See more projects from Workstead on Yellowtrace here.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Workstead.]

 

About The Author

Susanna McArdle

Susanna has a background in Interior Architecture and a passion for writing. Based in Sydney, she has worked both in Asia and Australia designing. An avid writer, it’s hard to know what she prefers more, stringing words together or creating spaces. But one thing she does know, is that she loves doing the both together.

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