Liberty Place CHARLESTON
Liberty Place Charleston
Offering 100 luxury vacation ownership units in the heart of historic Charleston, Liberty Place embraces an authentic architecture honoring the historic legacy of its context while being entirely of its time. Early engagement with community stakeholders and Charleston’s revered Board of Architectural Review ensured the building’s design was a collaborative effort from the outset. Design carefully considered the project’s impact on the surrounding neighborhood, the client’s brand identity, and the needs of building users. The new five-story building celebrates its historic siting while providing modern amenities to unit owners and the public.
Strategic site orientation minimizes the impact of vehicular traffic on surrounding secondary neighborhood streets and enhances the pedestrian experience on all sides. Liberty Place provides frontage along both East Bay and Calhoun Streets. Vehicular traffic is directed around the primary faces of the building to a narrow drive off of Alexander Street. This drive leads to a carefully screened valet and garage. A state-of-the-art parking structure allows cars to be stacked within the garage, minimizing site area devoted to surface parking. New single-family homes at the northern edge of the site create a buffer and enhance the residential nature of the neighborhood on surrounding streets. The building surrounds a brick-paved interior courtyard inspired by Charleston’s communal public gardens and inner-block pedestrian paths. Native landscaping, a custom fountain, “green” walls, and hanging lanterns create a publicly accessible Edenic green space, an amenity to the surrounding neighborhood. Two circa 1803 carriage house vestige walls are preserved in place, providing a quiet place for rest and reflection on the history of the site and its environs.
Building materials echo the project’s historic siting: constructed primarily of limestone and stucco, Liberty Place’s exterior references the patina of its context. Unit balconies on secondary facades overlook the site’s interior courtyard from behind tall columns, mimicking the iconic porticos of Charleston single houses. Tall storefront systems on the ground level along East Bay and Calhoun Streets make public spaces visible to passersby, advancing a sense of public permeability. Juliet balconies reference wrought iron railings found throughout the Mazcyk-Wraggborough neighborhood and serve to break up large expanses of cast limestone. Carefully considering the low elevation of Charleston’s peninsula, flood panels are cleverly concealed and integrated into limestone detailing.
Interior spaces are equally inventive. Public spaces – the lobby, ground floor bar, and grab-and-go café – are strategically located along a perimeter corridor on the building’s first floor. This careful programming welcomes the public into the space without imposing on unit owners. In the lobby, a backlit brass and wood accent wall honors the Liberty Tree that once stood on the site. Monumental coffered and relief décor ceilings, detailed wood paneling, and richly textured upholstery convey Charleston’s signature elegance. Marble countertops and custom cabinetry give owner units an air of sophisticated familiarity. Throughout the building’s public spaces, sconce light fixtures recall the lanterns adorning Charleston porches and front doors.
This project was designed in association with Timbes Architectural Group.
Photography by Brian Dressler.