Entries in Mount Pleasant architect (5)


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.


Building a Bright Future

Over the years, we have enjoyed hosting students from Wando High School’s Internship Program. They come with varying interests and backgrounds and are guided by SMHa architects and principals while working on real-life projects to get a grasp of what life is really like at an architecture firm. 

Wando senior Harrison Novak, who is double majoring at the high school in Art + Architecture and Math, Science + Engineering, has returned to intern with us for a second semester. She has wowed us with her talent for being able to read drawings, visualize projects and reproduce them as models. Harrison recently spent three months working on a model of the Town of Mount Pleasant Town Hall, which was delivered to the Town this week. 

“My experience in 3-D Art helps,” she says. “I’m a very visual person, and I love that everyone in the office gave input and helped me create this.”

One of Harrison’s favorite aspects of model making is the need for creativity. While it takes a sharp eye, steady hand and ability to translate drawings into scale 3-D reproductions, certain elements also require the ingenuity to problem solve. For example, to make the rounded council drum, Harrison found a soap dispenser of the exact scale dimensions and painstakingly soaked the wood until it was pliable enough to be wrapped around the dispenser and dried, creating a perfect shape for that part of the building. Harrison’s favorite parts of the model are the roof overhang brackets, which she feels give it a great ‘finished’ look.

Wando High School is known for its smart, talented students, and Harrison is no exception. Her work is on a professional level, so much that she is building yet another model, this time for an office building. Keep up the good work, Harrison!


A True Honor: 2014 Architectural Firm of the Year

What we do here at SMHa is bigger than we are, and with that in mind, we are proud to be part of the local community and work to design a better Lowcountry every day. 

Monday night, we were honored with a very special award from the Charleston Contractors' Association: the 2014 Architectural Firm of the Year Award!  As we celebrate 25 years of designing in the Lowcountry, we are thankful to have been selected for this award for outstanding professionalism and excellence in the field by the general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in our industry.

Thanks to the Charleston Contractors' Association and its members for this great recognition! 





Bowman Place: A New Chapter for an Old Shopping Center

Believe it or not, the old Kmart shopping center on Bowman Road in Mount Pleasant used to be a lively place.  It offered convenient shopping to those who lived on what was considered the ‘northern end’ of Mount Pleasant 35 years ago, before WalMart moved into neighboring Wando Crossing and well before the town’s population exponentially grew northward.

Today as you pass by, it’s hard to imagine the now empty shopping center in its heyday, but by the Fall of 2015 a new chapter will begin! 

Bowman Place, as it will be known, is undergoing a major aesthetic facelift that will breathe new life into the tired façade.  The flurry of rumors floating around Facebook have been officially confirmed – Dick’s Sporting Goods and Nordstrom Rack are co-anchoring the shopping center within the footprint of the old Kmart!  Shoppers of the Lowcountry, rejoice!

While a small section of the buildings towards Bowman Road will be removed to improve access to the property, space is being provided for up to four additional future tenants. 

We are excited to be part of this revitalization and to help Grove Property Fund LLC write a new chapter for Bowman Road!


Brick By Brick

For a town so steeped in history as Mount Pleasant is, it’s no surprise that 85% of the residents who replied on the Town’s “Engage Your New Town Hall” website hope that the new Town Hall will weave cues from our local history into the design. 

Design principal Sam Herin, AIA, plans to incorporate several historic aspects into the building, but found inspiration for the new brick exterior in an unusual way.

"I’ve had this brick sitting on my desk for more than twenty years,” he says.  “It was used in the 1817 construction of St. John’s Lutheran Church in downtown Charleston and was part of the damage caused by Hurricane Hugo.  The church’s renovation was one of SMHa’s first projects -- as an architect, I felt that this brick was an interesting and inspiring piece of history."

Brick made at Boone Hall PlantationIt wasn’t until this year that the New Town Hall’s design team discovered the true origin of Sam’s unique paperweight by happenchance while doing some research.  The brick, it turns out, was made at Mount Pleasant’s Boone Hall Plantation -- once a thriving producer of bricks used in the construction of many Lowcountry homes and buildings, including St. John’s Lutheran Church.

With a nod to Mount Pleasant’s past and largely forgotten brick industry, SMHa architects are using this brick as inspiration for the selection of the brick for the New Town Hall.

“It’s a small way we can pay tribute to those whose craftsmanship literally built the Lowcountry,” says Sam.