This is the first of a series of posts, titled “open house”, that I’m beginning on our blog – these will be photographic tours spotlighting selected projects.
13173931034e85d2cf1076aMy first offering is a second home we designed for a substantially sized family. The house is situated on a wooded river-front lot in Palmetto Bluff, a lovely development in the town of Bluffton, which is located in the low country of South Carolina. Since the house was to serve as a vacation gathering for large groups of family and friends, it was a programatic necessary to have an abundance of bedrooms and bathrooms (seven of each to be exact). A plan this copious certainly had the potential to result in an undesirable bloated structure.

In designing the house, we decided to whittle down the framework into a series of small camp-like buildings. These buildings would be peppered along the river bank and be connected by a series of screened porches. The kitchen, living and dining room would serve as the main lodge of this camp while the media room/bar, master suite, guest suites and children’s bunk room (playfully coined “the chicken house”) would become subservient river shacks. The interstitial porches lazily accommodate dining, gathering or sole repose. This was to be an architecture not of object, but of collection. As a result, the deconstructed design belies the scale of the program and maintains the humility desired for a sleepy environment; the visitor never quite sees the house in entirety – only glimpses are experienced. Finally, the entire wood-clad complex was bathed in shades of natural greens, thus completing the receding lake camp imagery. Over time, this familial house has become a muted witness, lolling in the humid Southern landscape, ever ready to open its arms to the oncoming troops.

The project architect for this house was Chris Tippett and was decorated by the talented eye and masterful hand of Tracy Hickman of Hickman Design Associates.  A feature on this house previously appeared in Elegant Homes magazine.



Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley

All photographs by Richard Leo Johnson


  1. Lynn D. Clapper says:

    Really beautiful.

  2. Love this project!! Beautiful. Like the use of black and white photos in bedroom also.

  3. Gorgeous home & gorgeous photography!

  4. Carolyn says:

    I’d like just one of those little ‘shacks.’

  5. Beautiful project,. I am particularly fond of the lovely dining porch.

  6. Leone Schram says:

    Absolutely WONDERFUL!! Love, love, love your work – you are all so talented and kind to share.

  7. Tracy says:

    What a way with words you have McAlpine Tankersley! It’s making me pine for Bluffton all over. I appreciate the mention and lived the partnership. Two down and more to come I hope! Best to you all :). Tracy

  8. […] mcalpine.tankersley.architecture September 19, 2013 by Your Editors […]

  9. […] Дом расположен в Palmetto Bluff — это маленький кусочек рая у реки на низменности Южной Каролины. Дом планировался как место сбора большой семьи и их друзей, и поэтому основной задачей была грамотная проектировка дома, с достаточным количеством спален и ванных комнат, да так, чтобы все выглядело как единое целое. В результате, получилась сеть зданий по берегу реки, а гость никогда не видит дом в целом. Наконец, весь дом как снаружи, так и внутри отделан древесиной, купаясь в зелени, тем самым завершая идею уединенного места для отдыха с близкими людьми. […]

  10. Monica Tankersley Sparks says:

    Beautiful work! Saw this on Pinterest and noticed your last name. My maiden name was Tankersley and our people came from the Carolina area. Would love to figure out how we are related!

  11. Molly Taylor says:

    What size are the huge windows and doors in the main living area? Love them!

  12. Molly says:

    I love this house!!! I especially love the huge windows and doors in the main living area….What size are those?

  13. Stephanie Boyse says:

    This is the most amazing house and your design fits the property perfectly, taken advantage of gorgeous views from every angle. I absolutely love the porches and how comfortable every space fits within them. Gorgeous architecture and beautiful interior design by Tracy Hickman of Hickman interiors in Chicago is a perfect match.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Discover more from McALPINE

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading