Charleston is the oldest and largest city in South Carolina, and there’s a lot to choose from when it comes to the best things to do here. Charleston has several museums to visit that detail the city’s rich history and culture. Instead of the skyscrapers that overwhelm most U.S. city skylines, church spires dominate Charleston’s attractive skyline. Thanks to its abundance of museums, bars, historic structures, and a lovely harbor, the city attracts a diverse mix of history buffs, partygoers, families, and fishing enthusiasts.
The below list includes some of the best residential architects in the area to help you with your needs. Whether you’re a current resident who wants to improve your home, or whether you plan to move to this city, these residential architects below are able to help. On the other hand, if you want to learn more about the cost of building a custom home in Charleston, check out our cost guide article.
Frederick + Frederick Residential Architects
38 Meridian Rd., Beaufort, SC 29907
In the more than 30 years that Frederick + Frederick Architects has been in business, they have played a pioneering role in contemporary southern architecture. Its design style is founded on the principles of historic architecture from the warm and humid south but with a noticeably modern twist. Colloquial traditions provide a jump start on sustainable practices by reviving neglected strategies and fostering a contemporary regionalism of necessity.
Jane Frederick, a fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and Michael Frederick, AIA, lead the firm. Jane is licensed in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. Michael has been a residential architect in Beaufort, South Carolina, for 31 years. Under their leadership, the firm highly values sustainability. Thus, it joins many other cutting-edge architecture construction firms all over the country in the effort to produce solely net-zero energy buildings by 2030. This is an early signatory of the AIA’s 2030 Commitment.
2214 Middle Street, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482
Herlong Architects & Interior Design is a full-service architecture and interior design company specializing in custom coastal design and residential remodeling. It has an attentive understanding and appreciation for the distinctive personality of coastal environments. The firm offers a full range of architectural and interior design services for custom homes. It is made up of a diverse group of architects and interior designers, each with their own set of skills and perspectives that they bring to each project. The firm has won Best in American Living Award in 2019, AIA SC 2019 Honor Award, Carolopolis Award for Excellence 2019, and seven Prism Awards.
The firm is a member of the AIA, the AIA Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN), and the CRAN Charleston. Its works were also spotlighted in a few publications: the Charleston Style & Design in 2020, Charleston Home + Design, SCA Magazine, Domino, Coastal Living, Charleston Blonde Blog, and the Preservation Society of Charleston in 2019, among others.
Wayne Windham Architect
1779 Main Rd., Johns Island, SC 29455
Wayne Windham Architect, P.A. is a reputable and highly regarded architectural firm specializing in designing one-of-a-kind, single-family custom homes. It is a small, highly personalized firm led by principal and owner Wayne Windham. With over 35 years of experience constructing custom homes and remodels in the Charleston and Hilton Head areas, the firm is a known expert of the natural terrain, local materials, building regulations, architectural review boards, and local contractors. For every project, the firm creates a well-conceived home for its clients that always conforms with local restrictions, owner ideas, needs, budget, and timeline with a solid commitment to owner satisfaction.
Its use of building information modeling (BIM) software and technology characterizes the firm from its competitors. It provides photorealistic digital visualization tools for exterior and interior views as part of its services.
1204 New Parrish Way Unit B, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Swallowtail Architecture is a full-service architectural company specializing in custom residential home design for new homes and whole-house, major renovations. It is an all-female firm that brings along unique perspectives to developing the perfect homes for its clients.
Swallowtail Architecture, led by architect Rachel Burton, is known for its innovative designs. Rachel specializes in designing spaces that are both pleasant and attractive but also functional and site-specific. She has worked in South Carolina for almost 20 years and is a member of the Town of Summerville’s Board of Architectural Review. As Charleston Architects, the firm creates personalized living areas with an indoor-outdoor flow that enables the client to appreciate the beauty of the coastline setting, either in the Historic Charleston area, on the barrier islands of Sullivan’s, Isle of Palms, Kiawah, Seabrook, and Daniel Island, or in town in communities like Mount Pleasant and Summerville.
Beau Clowney Architects
1 King St. Ste. 102, Charleston, SC 29401
Beau Clowney Architects has been working in collaboration with clients for over 20 years to build beautiful structures that seek to advance life through great design. Architect Beau Clowney leads the firm with over 34 years of experience in the industry. Beau is a sixth-generation South Carolina native who, along with his partner Kate Campbell and a skilled executive team, is enthusiastic about the design and implementation of each project.
The firm has successfully developed a one-of-a-kind portfolio of homes in the United States and abroad. Each project combines the natural beauty of the home’s location with the distinct personality of the individual client. Its projects have received recognition from a variety of organizations. Among these accolades is one from Luxe as their Gold List Honoree in Architecture for 2020 and 2021. It also has other press features from Luxe, Charleston Magazine, Southern Living, and The Bluff Magazine.
Bill Huey + Associates
3582 Maybank Hwy., Johns Island, SC 29455
Bill Huey + Associates, founded in 1994, has experienced consistent growth over the last 20 years. The company is a full-service architecture firm with projects over the Southeastern United States. It is well-known for its diverse project portfolio, including award-winning residential architecture, historic preservation projects, and cutting-edge commercial designs.
Its project portfolio includes everything from historic preservation to new construction, from large commercial structures to private properties. Under the leadership of its namesake, the firm’s works were featured this year by Charleston Style & Design Magazine, Preservation South Carolina, CHS Today, and The Post and Courier. Moreover, namesake Bill is a 1985 graduate of Clemson University College of Architecture. He began his working career in Charleston in 1987 and now has over 34 years of experience. He was also the past president of the Charleston CRAN AIA and currently serves on the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) for Charleston.
67 Washington St., Charleston, SC 29403
Cobb Architects has founded itself as a crucial component of the Charleston custom home design community. Its projects range from custom homes to remodels, restaurants, and prominent businesses. The firm serves clients in Lowcountry and surrounding areas.
The firm’s highly refined sense of precision and hands-on philosophy enables it to follow a project from inception to completion. The firm’s principal is Darryl A. Cobb, AIA, a graduate of Bachelor of Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has over 25 years of experience working in the business and is a Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) Charleston member. Under his leadership, the firm’s works were acknowledged by Charleston Style & Design in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, HGTV in 2015, and Charleston Home + Design in 2013.
Camens Architectural Group
3461 Maybank Hwy., Johns Island, SC 29455
Since its inception in 1982 by Chief Architect Marc Camens, Camens Architectural Group has crafted exquisite custom homes with expertise in construction administration, interior design, and remodels.
Its work is spread across the United States, Italy, and Switzerland, with a small number of commercial architectural designs thrown in for good measure. Its main geographic areas include Charleston, South Carolina, nearby areas, the Coastal Carolinas and Northern Florida, the Adirondacks, and Vail, Colorado. It can, however, also do work across the United States.
It takes pride in providing more than other residential architecture firms. It also does comprehensive design services with hand-drawn ideas preceded by 3D rendering, full construction supervision, and guidance in interviewing subcontractors to guarantee that the homeowner’s dream home becomes a reality. Marc Camens, Chief Architect, is frequently on-site to examine the progress of the project or adjust plans if problems arise. Several publications featured its works, including Charleston Style & Design in 2020 and Discover Charleston in 2019 and 2018.
10 Ponce De Leon Court, Charleston, SC 29407
Clark-Glidewell/Architect, LLC (CGA) is a Charleston, South Carolina-based architectural firm founded in 1998. The firm specializes in residential projects spanning historic preservation to new construction and renovation. It serves clients in Charleston’s Historic District and nearby areas and Summerville.
Shelley has worked on various homes, with each project focusing on the client and their needs. She has a 33-year architectural career and has worked with homes in multiple locations for 27 years. Under her supervision, the firm has received recognitions in 2020, such as the Merit Award for Historic Preservation from the AIA and the Carolopolis Award from the Charleston Preservation Society. Likewise, the firm is also a member of the AIA Custom Residential Architects Network, Preservation Society of Charleston, and Charleston Builders.
Thomas & Denzinger Architects
138 St. Philip St. Suite 200, Charleston, SC 29403
Since 1973, Thomas & Denzinger Architects has created architectural designs for single-family residential and commercial projects for clients in South Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
Jim Thomas and Hermann Denzinger founded the firm in Beaufort, South Carolina, with a second office opening in Charleston in 1986. The founders retired in 2020 and operations are now owned by four managing partners, all licensed architects: Joel Newman, AIA in Beaufort. Bryan Bolin, AIA, Joel Wenzel, AIA and David Fisher, AIA run the operations in Charleston, SC.
The award-winning firm is recognized for outstanding inventiveness in both the public and private sectors, including community, recreational, and residential structures. Its projects have been featured over the past years in the Wall Street Journal, Charleston Style & Design, Charleston Business Magazine, and the Post and Courier.
Tyler A. Smyth Architects
990 Morrison Dr. Suite B, Charleston, SC 29403
The Charleston studio of Tyler A. Smyth Architects provides innovative custom residential and light commercial architecture solutions in the Lowcountry’s diverse environments and communities. It specializes in the design of new residences in and around Charleston, while also undertaking restorations and renovations of historic residences on the peninsula. The firm believes in providing the highest level of service and sophistication of design.
Tyler A. Smyth Architects’ team has stated that it is fortunate to work with some of the most interesting clients and best builders in the region over the last 11 years. The firm considers itself to be craftspeople at heart, and believe that good design is more than making beautiful drawings. With the team’s dedication and expertise, the firm has developed a deep roster of satisfied clients, and have been awarded numerous Carolopolis Awards by the Preservation Society of Charleston for our work on the peninsula.
147 Wappoo Creek Dr. Ste. 304, Charleston, SC 29412
Spivey Architects is a regional architectural company headquartered in the Southeast with offices in Charleston, South Carolina. Its founder has more than 40 years of design and construction experience. It is multi-disciplinary, with comprehensive expertise in high-end residential design and commercial projects based on personal services such as clubhouses, branch banks, medical and dental offices, and lab facilities.
Michael Spivey, AIA, has over 30 years of architectural design and construction experience. Its principal is one of the few design professionals who has co-founded a construction company and established what he designed for the first five years of his career, making him unique among architects. He remains actively engaged in every design project and is always open to questions. Under his supervision, the firm has been featured in Charleston Living Magazine, Charleston Home + Design Magazine, Home Magazine, and Luxury Living Magazine.
1809B Reynolds Ave. N., Charleston, SC 29405
SLC Architect is a local Charleston, South Carolina architecture firm specializing in custom residential design in the South Carolina Low Country. The firm strives to exceed expectations at every phase of the design process, and its principal pours her heart and soul into creating dream homes for her clients that they are proud to own and happy to live in.
Sabrina Vogel grew up in a family construction business, which has given her an exceptional understanding of the construction process to turn an architectural design into a reality. Sabrina founded SLC Architect in 2013 after working for another local high-end residential firm for the previous eleven years designing, drawing, and managing high-end custom residential projects. Under her leadership, the firm was featured in publications such as Charleston Style & Design and Charleston Home + Design.
DLB Custom Home Design
P.O. Box 21354, Charleston, SC 29413
DLB Custom Home Design has been serving coastal locations throughout South Carolina’s Low Country since 2011. Its services include architectural design, structural engineering, house planning, custom home building, new home construction, home remodeling, and sustainable design. It uses the most up-to-date architectural design software on the market and gives clients a 3D experience of the home during the design process. This allows homeowners to comprehend the full design with high accuracy.
Currently heading the firm, Damien Busillo, AIA received his Master’s Degree in Architecture from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2003. He has over 17 years of experience in the industry and has spent almost a decade developing high-end custom residential homes in the South Carolina Low Country.
Kevan Hoertdoerfer Architects
538 King St., Charleston, SC 29403
Kevan Hoertdoerfer Architects, based in Charleston, was founded in 1998 and is made up of a group of architects, designers, and thinkers from various backgrounds. The architecture firm is dedicated to the craft of creating spaces and building relationships with people. The firm knows all types of buildings and brings a unique background of architecture, ecology, construction, education, and craftsmanship to each project.
Owned by Kevan Hoertdoerfer, its works were featured by Dwell, Charleston City Magazine, The New York Times, Charleston City Paper, and Archello all within the last three years. Kevin has more than 25 years of experience in the industry and has worked for Fentress Architects, Sellers and Co. Architects, and Huff+Gooden Architects before the company’s founding.