Introducing Our Four New Partners!

As we recently announced, we are thrilled for the promotion of our four senior architects - Chris Altman, AIA, Billy Connell, AIA, LEED AP, Jeff Johnston, AIA and Margie Longshore, AIA, LEED AP - to new partners of SMHa! Chris, Billy, Jeff and Margie have demonstrated not only their dedication in serving clients, but also their talented skills in architecture throughout their tenure here. 

Chris Altman, AIA, specializes in a range of projects for higher education and retail, like the redevelopment of Bowman Place in Mount Pleasant and multiple new projects at Freshfields Village. He serves on the Fair Board for the Exchange Club of Charleston and is a graduate of Clemson University.



Billy Connell, AIA, is a native of Mount Pleasant and champions designs for civic projects like Mount Pleasant’s new Town Hall. He is an alumnus of both Clemson University and North Carolina State University, and recently completed Leadership Charleston.



Jeff Johnston, AIA, focuses on private projects for the resort, medical and office communities, such as the new 111 Coleman office building. An Auburn University graduate, he serves on both the City of Charleston Design Review Board and the Daniel Island Architectural Review Board.



Margie Longshore, AIA, has completed numerous projects involving rehabilitation or new construction in downtown Charleston; most recently Southern First Bank at 80 Calhoun Street. She also leads the firm’s efforts in K-12 educational projects. Margie is a graduate of Auburn University, a member of the AIA South Carolina board of directors, and a graduate of Leadership Charleston.


Come One, Come All!

SMHa is committed to designing buildings that are accessible for all citizens!

Do you know that the state of South Carolina has adopted the 2017 edition of the ICC A117.1 Accessibility and Usable Buildings and Facilities Code? You need to know that many jurisdictions throughout South Carolina are now reviewing projects under the new regulation. A few of the revisions that you will see in our latest designs:

  • Larger dimensions for clear floor spaces and turning spaces in new buildings
  • Improvements to exterior accessible routes
  • New passenger drop-offs and parking requirements
  • Acoustic standards for classrooms
  • Features allowing for better communication for persons using sign language
  • Provisions for water bottle filling stations



Season's Greeting House

We were thrilled to learn that the Greeting House at Nexton has been named Best Sales + Info Center by the Charleston Home Builders Association! We designed the builing to have staying power in this new and thriving community; to first be an inviting sales center until the community is complete, and then to transition into a community meeting and event center. The extensive lawn and adjacent Brighton Park playground only enhance the building's ability to connect with the community.

Our aim was to create a warm, welcoming environment that not only educates about our growing community, but celebrates the Charleston region and that quintessential souther-hospitality that makes it such a wonderful place to live, work and play.


 Check out the full article here.

Many thanks to the folks at Nexton, and our talented team members: Atlantic Engineering, DWG Engineering, SeamonWhiteside, Kennon Williams Landscape Studio and Hill Construction.


Windmill Station Groundbreaking

We were thrilled to be part of the groundbreaking for Windmill Station at Carnes Crossroads last Friday!

Learn more about this great project here.

Many thanks to Charleston ENT, Charleston GI, Lowcountry Rheumatology, Carnes Crossroads and the City of Goose Creek - we can't wait to watch it come to life!



Through the Looking Glass

Next time you are in a church, or pass by one lit up at night, take a moment to appreciate those stained glass windows a little more than usual. Surprisingly from a medical point of view, cognitive neuroscientist Michael Persinger explains how stained glass has made a deep impression on the mind even centuries ago:

At the time Gothic cathedrals were designed, most people lived in dark huts, so just walking into a space vastly larger than what they were habituated to, lit by stained glass windows, was literally awe-inspiring.


While today we're accustomed to large buildings and brightly lit homes, stained glass still makes a striking impact on people and on the spaces they are part of from both inside and out.

Last week, three SMHa architects took a field trip to Charlestown Stained Glass to learn the ins and outs of stained glass windows for a chapel they are designing. There's a lot more to the stained glass window world than what you see from the outside; varying styles, glass types, textures, painting techniques, whether the windows open or don't open are all factors to consider. Some pieces come in kits with themes like nature-inspired, religious or a generic kaleiodoscope of colors, or each window can be custom-made.

We enjoyed learning more about the colorful world of stained glass, and can't wait to see the final product that will inspire this particular chapel.