With 10,000 acres of Low Country to develop, Kiawah Partners initiated in the 1970s the idea to design with nature. Carefully, one by one, more than 2,000 homes have since been tucked among cathedral oaks and around the rims of Atlantic beachfront and world-renown golf courses.
For one of Kiawah Island’s newest neighborhoods, Ocean Park, the partners considered what it’s like to live on a golf course and not play golf. They determined that the openness and beauty of the greens play the role of a park, and built the community among 250 acres of faux golf greens and parkland. (The Pete Dye–designed Ocean Course also winds among some Ocean Park lots.) The park sweeps down to Ocean Park’s newest amenity, a clubhouse called Marsh House that opened in May.
The clubhouse will eventually be flanked by model homes for the Ocean Park neighborhood. Four Low Country architects designed elevated, open-plan layouts with three or four bedrooms plus a swing space. Porches open among treetops and banks of windows frame south-facing marshland views. Priced from $2.3 million on about a quarter of an acre each, the concepts yield essentially custom homes without the complexity and years that it takes to build a custom home. Forty years later, the timeless natural beauty of Kiawah has been protected. Time, however, feels all the more fleeting in this mobile, jet-set age of endless connection. Building a home faster proves as invaluable as owning a light-filled place to decompress. (Inquiries: Kiawah Island Real Estate, 843.768.3400, kiawahisland.com)