Even though Monday's day-long Charleston, S.C.-area housing tour at the Reinvention conference was delayed an hour by an interstate fire and early rain threatened to make conditions unpleasant, in the end, touring architects were not disappointed. Attendees toured a low-country residence in Mount Pleasant designed by Frank Harmon, FAIA; the Whitney Powers-designed River Road Residence in Charleston; Robert A.M. Stern's clubhouse at Kiawah Ocean Course Clubhouse; the historic Vanderhorst Mansion on Kiawah Island designed by Chris Schmitt, FAIA, NCARB; and a house on Sullivan's Island designed by Christopher Rose, AIA, ASID.
At each of the five stops, the project architects guided guests through the houses, discussing design details and answering questions. Here's what some Reinvention attendees said about the housing tour during the Welcome Reception at the Charleston Place hotel Monday evening:
"Phenomenal! A couple [houses] really stood out for their detail and the care taken, especially the one on the water at Mount Pleasant ... I could live in that house tomorrow. It was built for human beings who love life."—Carol McWilliams, architecture enthusiast/spouse attendee, Shaker Heights, OH
"We visited the clubhouse at a golf course. Stern is very sensitive to the coastal aesthetic ... and the view is spectacular. The tour was very nice."—Conrad McWilliams, former interim dean and professor of architecture (retired), Kent State University, Shaker Heights, OH
"It was great. I loved the contemporary architecture and how it fit in well with Charleston, being an older town."—Jim Webb, vice president, Studio 3 Design Group, Augusta, GA
"It was a nice mix. The last house by the ocean was very interesting. We had a great speaker. Two thumbs up."—Jeff Henneman, Henneman+Associates, Columbia, MD
"I really liked Frank Harmon's house. I'm a horticulturalist, so to have the landscape and the vegetated roof [included] was great."—Becky Balzer, spouse attendee, Roanoke, VA
"I always like coming to this conference because it's dense and starts with a housing tour and gets you thinking about why you're here..."—Craig Balzer, RA, president, Balzer and Associates, Roanoke, VA