Palmetto Exchange

This 252 unit, four-story garden apartment development, completed in 2018 is located on 13.5 acres, in Ladson, South Carolina. The area where the project is located has grown from semi-industrial, single family and small scale multi-family housing to Higher Density Apartment Housing and Mixed-Use Developments over the past several years. In compliance with overlay district regulations the new facility is convenient to the interstate and nearby arterial roads, on a private wooded lot with interior sidewalks establishing a sense of community, a leasing and fitness center and attractive apartment living with secure surface parking adjacent to each structure.

Design Challenge

The design challenge is providing an aesthetically pleasing multi-family housing project within the density allowed by zoning, offering a variety of unit types in four building configurations, providing amply lighted secure surface parking and control of storm water runoff, while also meeting the growing housing needs of the area. To achieve this on the 13.5 acre site, the design team built to the maximum allowable height, consisting of four story apartment and two story carriage buildings, achieving 252 total units, in eight types ranging from studios to one, two and three bedroom configurations. Site density is 18.6 units to the acre and incorporates creative earthwork details and berms which also double as additional amenity areas for its residents, while also meeting the required drainage and storm water control measures. To maximize unit density while remaining within the budget, the design team chose construction Type V wood framing for the residential floors, residential windows and exterior finishes comprised of masonry and fiber cement siding, panels and trim in a traditional, meets modern farmhouse design. To achieve its own identity, the project had to make a strong statement and the design team achieved this with minimal colors, exterior gathering spaces and a central courtyard. Residential units are offered with spacious open plans, 9 foot ceilings, private baths with showers or tubs with tiled walls, striking kitchens with contemporary cabinets, granite counter tops with under mount sinks and stainless steel appliances, washers and dryers, energy efficient HVAC and lighting and private, secure entries.

Physical Context

The project reflects traditional style architecture, with craftsman accents and the design is an attractive addition to the region and compliments the surrounding area, while providing a sense of permanence and high quality. Fiber reinforced cement horizontal lap siding, fiber reinforced cement panel with battens, board and batten and brick masonry adorns the exterior in a similar fashion on each of the four sides of every building. The project is in keeping with a timeless and high quality design, in a pleasing neutral color palette. Additional architectural elements incorporated into the design of each building consist of raked standing seam metal roofs which occur at breezeway entries. Throughout the property, there are recesses and projections exceeding 24” along each building façade. There is a standard cornice line throughout at each residential building to conform with local architecture, along with a 24” tall heel height at specific locations integral to the roof truss design. The windows are low E, aluminum single-hung with decorative grilles between the glass at the upper sash only. A subtle articulation in the brick veneer is incorporated along the facades at the main level. A large overhang at the roofs, pre-manufactured cedar bracket details, decorative faux louvered vents as well pressure treated columns with cement trim wrap occur throughout. Resident amenities include private garages, clubroom, wi-fi and coffee bar, fitness center, and sundeck with pool. Leasing and Fitness areas offer 12 to 14 foot ceilings, heavy timber frame architectural details and large glazed openings.