Beach Tsubo Niwa
Surfside Beach, South Carolina is one of the fastest growing areas in the country. Incorporated in 1964 as a family resort town, the pattern of development just west of the beach strand looks much like a grid of streets in many neighborhoods in the United States. Front porches, brick ranches, T-111 siding, vinyl retrofits, and the ever popular “gar-en” (garage converted into a den) line almost every street in town, with the exception of the higher priced beach strand lots and a few more pretentious homes peppered in among the soon to be tear-downs in this evolving beach town.
The owners acquired a double lot for their future retirement home with a small, wooden cottage to be donated. The neighborhood is dense with trees and other homes where sea breezes are difficult to harness. A central vaulted space with a shed roof made of steel trusses aligned with prevailing breezes is designed to capture light and wind. This central space is flanked by two lower wings; one for the master suite, and the other for the guest suite.
The house is conceived as a solid white mass, made of insulated concrete forms to resist frequent hurricanes. Spaces are whittled and carved away to create shared and private interior gardens along the edges to facilitate ventilation. A modest courtyard with a pool and trellis is placed in the center of the exterior space to enhance the cooling effect needed during humid, still summers. A piano room floats in an entry pond adjacent to a semi-detached front porch. The entry to the home is along a wooden boardwalk similar to a dune pass. Windows are missing from several openings around the perimeter of the house as a reference to the ruins created by hurricanes in the region.