This Industrial-Modern Residence in Charleston Is a Showcase for Local Art and Design

Listed for $1.3M, Metamorphosis House brings together the vision of architect Kevan Hoertdoerfer with numerous other artists and designers.
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A modernist gem last featured in the September/October 2018 issue of Dwell Magazine is now up for grabs in Charleston, South Carolina. Complete with a colorful, floating staircase, the loft-style home was playfully reimagined in 2017 by local architect Kevan Hoertdoerfer in partnership with creative consultant and current homeowner, Karen Baldwin. Today, what was once a concrete block duplex is a canvas for local artwork—with a soaring, sculptural exterior that is a work of art itself.

The Hampton House is located just outside of Charleston's historic district in the Wagener Terrace neighborhood, across from the park it's named after. The front yard, designed by landscape architect Robert Maerlender, features green circles of astroturf stamped onto a gray canvas of shale and framed by an angled wood fence.

The home's most striking feature, an angular galvanized steel roof designed based on the sun’s movement, initially received pushback from local neighbors who opposed the contemporary design. Fortunately, with the home's location just outside of Charleston's landmarked historic district, residents were eventually won over by the roof, now celebrating it as a neighborhood landmark. For Hoertdoerfer and Baldwin, the process is embodied by the Charles Bukowski poem that is painted on the home's facade: "Everybody roll with it—everybody do their thing."  

Inside, the eye goes immediately to a floating staircase along one wall. Hand painted by local artist Tess Thomas, its wood treads add a pop of color within the voluminous great room.

Offering three bedrooms and three bathrooms, the airy interior features a free-flowing floor plan and a double-height great room at its center. To create such a voluminous interior Hoertdoerfer replaced the upper part of the original cinder block structure with a concrete-supported, double-height loft, which is now fully occupied by the master suite. Light pours in from translucent polycarbonate-paneled windows and two walls of glass that stretch along the facade. Keep scrolling to see more of the property, currently listed for $1,295,000.

Walnut cabinetry, fabricated by local woodworker Spiros Skartsiounis, grounds the kitchen, which also features open shelving and a large central island.

Baldwin and her partner share a passion for 1970s art and sought an unconventional space that evoked their idols like Andy Warhol and Richard Diebenkorn. 

"We wanted a New York–style loft, with lots of open space and light, so local artists and artisans could have the creative freedom to add to it," says Baldwin.

Upstairs, the color-blocked pattern continues onto the veneered plywood floors. A wall of glass looks out onto a roof deck while flooding the interior with natural light.

The loft-style master suite occupies the entire second floor. With custom seating along one wall, the open space features a large walk-in closet on one side and a bathroom on the other.

The spa-like master bathroom features a floating vanity, walk-in shower, and large soaking tub. A wall of windows lined with translucent, insulated polycarbonate panels brighten the space.

Across from the the master suite loft, a roof deck emerges from the sculptural roof. Complete with built-in seating, the large outdoor space provides a relaxing spot to enjoy views of the neighboring greenspace, Hampton Park.

A look at one of two lower-level bedrooms. Here, floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto the backyard lawn and patio.

A concrete cabana is tucked away in the backyard, complete with custom furniture and lighting—both designed by Karen. The metal light fixture was fabricated by local artist Eric Doran, who also designed other metalworks on the property.

116 Grove Street in Charleston, South Carolina, is currently listed for $1,295,000 by Leslie Turner of Maison Real Estate.

Project Credits:

Architect: Kevan Hoertdoerfer / @kharchitects 

Structural Engineering: Powell Engineering 

Interior Design: Karen Baldwin 

Landscape Design: Robert Maerlender

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