The Charleston, S.C., tradition of pushing the long side of a house to the property line and adding a veranda evolved from the need for cooling breezes, and for creating one big side yard instead of two small ones. That concept works brilliantly for this guest pavilion, too. Architect Stephen Yablon came up with a 15 ½-foot-wide box that puts the pool front and center. The interior circulation runs down the side, and its glass face keeps the narrow rooms from feeling claustrophobic.

Yablon’s scheme turns another low-country condition into an asset as well. The underside of the building, lifted 17 feet above flood level, is elegantly detailed as a shaded veranda. “A lot of raised homes are filled in with lattice,” he says. Here, “the covered ‘porch’ protects people from the pretty brutal sun.” Fat columns recall those of southern-style porches, and a spare kitchen serves the seating area. Upstairs are a living area, office, two guest rooms and baths, and a kitchenette. On the pavilion’s private rear façade, Yablon repurposed a common barrier-island roofing material—standing seam metal, deploying it almost as a shield.

Our judges applauded the clever response to climate. “It’s a great solution to being in a flood plain,” said one. “You don’t feel like you’re under a building.”

Entrant/Architect: Stephen Yablon Architect, New York; Builder: NBM Construction, North Charleston, S.C.; Landscape architect: Wertimer & Associates, Charleston, S.C.; Living space: 1,500 square feet; Site: 0.5 acre; Construction cost: $655 per square foot; Photographer: Michael Moran.

Product details

Bathroom cabinets and fixtures: Duravit,; Countertops: Walker Zanger,; Dishwasher: Miele,; Exterior siding: Fabral Aluminum,, James Hardie,; Flooring: Ann Sacks,; Hardware: FSB,; HVAC equipment: Carrier,; Insulation: Airtight Spray Foam,; Kitchen cabinets: Charleston Woodworks,; Lighting fixtures: Iris Lighting,, Lightolier,, Lucifer Lighting,; Paints: Glidden,; Refrigerator: Northland,; Skylights/roof windows: Velux,; Windows: Loewen,

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