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The single house is an icon of historic Charleston, South Carolina. This design features a comparison of three scales of the single house featuring etched 140lb paper over mirror with a 12x16 black aluminum frame and clear glass. The glazing in the singles is cut to allow light to reflect through the windows.


The single house IS the vernacular architectural form of Charleston, defining its urban grid. It first appeared in the early eighteenth century and emerged as a favored residential form after the fire of 1740. The typical single house stands two or more stories in height and is built on a rectangular plan with its narrow end facing the street. Each floor has two rooms with a central stair-hall in between. Piazzas occupy the long wall facing the inside of the lot, and the chimneys are located on the opposite wall, in the rear of the house.


Architectural historians have devoted considerable study to the origins of the single house. The most common explanation holds that the form developed as a response to the hot and humid Lowcountry summers and the scarcity of space in the urban environment. The tall, slender profile allowed breezes to circulate freely across the broad piazzas and through the main rooms.

Three Singles

  • Joel is a licensed architect practicing in Charleston, SC, and the Owner of Score and Burn. His love of building and landscape was nurtured in the mountains of western North Carolina, where early in life, he grew up with vernacular buildings shaped by landscape, natural systems, and the activities they contain. He came to Charleston by way of Clemson and UVA, and in the historic architecture of Charleston, I have continued my study of site specific purpose built architecture. Score and Burn seeks to bring an interest in digital fabrication to create designs which explore the built and natural environments of our historic and beautiful city.

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