Neal Prince Architects
Project name: Bay Vista
Project location: Salem, S.C.
Square footage (finished): 3,710 s.f.
Total project cost (not land): $980,000
This custom home is located on an open knoll overlooking Lake Keowee at the foot of South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, and offers a breathtaking view of both the lake and mountainous landscape beyond. The owners desired an economically sized home that simultaneously felt grand. In acknowledgement of the dramatic site, every room was to capitalize on the view across the lake. Counter to its dramatic views, the site also presents itself as a windswept, virtually treeless patch of land high above the lake’s Emerald Bay. The best views are oriented in one direction —inconveniently perpendicular to the falling grade.
Square footage also presented a challenge, being much smaller than is typical of the surrounding lakefront community’s estate homes. Thus, a plan was devised to make it appear larger than reality. The modest building program, coupled with capturing one-directional views, yielded a linear plan. The slender profile springs out of the hillside capturing views from every room, dividing 3,710 heated sq. ft. among three floors, including the garage under the main roof. Exaggeratedly scaled details and extracting the home’s geometry perpendicular to the primary grade creates a dwelling that appears deceptively large. The eclectic shingle-style home offers an inviting sequence of spatial experiences creating an internal connectivity that yields a sense that it is greater than the sum of its parts.