Located in downtown Charleston, the site is just south of the Ravenel Bridge off-ramp and at the entrance to the maritime agency’s Columbus Street Terminal. The building is integrated with the landscape, maximizing views to the Cooper River and engaged with the site’s natural wetlands. A gateway to the city, the building plays off marine vernacular through its unique structure, which simultaneously elevates the building enhancing the connection with its surroundings as well as improving views. Additionally, the pedestrian plaza level will contain a misting zone, combating the heat of the day and activating the outdoor space.
Design ChallengeViews and daylight are maximized through the orientation of the core, which is located along the western wall, which in turn minimizes heat gain and allow all mechanical rooms to vent out the side wall behind the metal scrim panels rather than ducting up through the roof and out. In addition to providing significant flexibility for prospective tenants, the offset core results in increased square footage in the building. The building is clad corrugated, perforated metal scrim panels that conceal all mechanical louvers from view and the window system incorporates horizontal sunshade “fins” to shade the glass.
Physical ContextSite contains existing wetlands and views out to the river for the surrounding neighborhood. Rather than putting a building on grade and blocking this visual and physical connectivity to the wetlands, the project elevates the building allowing for public space to be created not only around the building, but also under the building in a dynamic way. This opens the area up to potential opportunity for covered outdoor public space that doesn’t require additional canopies, awnings or tents. The views through the site are maintained, allowing for visual access to the river/wetlands as well. To help minimize the impact of the raised building on the site, the main columns are canted to create a V allowing a single point for two columns to touch the ground.