How could a house that positively drips with nostalgia work for a modern family? Remarkably well, says architect Donald M. Rattner, who tweaked two prototype models at McAllister Point in Richmond Hill, Ga., to come up with this winner.

The classic Charleston, S.C., side-yard house fits perfectly on the narrow rectangular lot; the stacked porches, called piazzas, offer views on three sides. Inside, what would have been a back extension for the smokehouse kitchen now makes a perfect family room. "It's interesting to see how very old, classic models can be used to suit 21st-century needs through simple organization of the masses," says Rattner. "Some are remarkably resilient."

Category: Single-family production/Semi-custom home, more than 3,000 square feet; Entrant/Architect/Land Planner: Donald M. Rattner, formerly with Ferguson Shamamian & Rattner Architects, New York; Builder: Sterling Construction Management, Richmond Hill, Ga.; Developer: Dolan, Pollak & Schram Development Co., Richmond Hill; Landscape Architect: DesignWorks, Charleston, S.C.; Interior Designer: Ferguson Shamamian & Rattner Architects, New York

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Charleston, SC, Atlanta, GA.