The design team―Kiawah Development Partners, Atlanta-based archictectural firm Norman Davenport Askins, Charleston architectural firm McKellar & Associates, and Atlanta-based designer Jackye Lanham―produced a floor plan focused around a central courtyard, a usable space almost year-round thanks to the region's warm climate. The open area "is an ancient concept in the Mediterranean," says architect Norman Askins, who collaborated with four others on the design. "Even with air-conditioning, we tried to pick up on that idea." Adds architect John Haley, "The courtyard is not really a yard; it is a room."
The home's front door opens to the loggia, a feature borrowed from historic Charleston single houses. "The area works as an entry vestibule into the house," says architect Stan Dixon. Thanks to the outdoor space and the central great room, the structure lives large without giving up private spaces. "It's a 3,000-square-foot house, but you can still go to your separate place," says architect Anne McGuire. Her colleague Clay Shackelford explains that the location of the bedrooms offers solitude and privacy. "The guesthouse is at one end and the master bedroom is at the other," he says. "You have a feeling of separation at the end of the day." Adds John, "It's a great idea, especially if you have grandchildren."