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Bespoke Architectural Services

Swallowtail Architecture specializes in custom residential home design for new homes and whole house, major renovations in the Historic Charleston area including the beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry barrier islands of Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, and Daniel Island, as well as in Mount Pleasant and Summerville. Specializing in the development of character lots and one-of-a-kind homes perfect for our clients.  We are also available for boutique commercial property design.  Leading the team is Architect Rachel Burton with her more than 30 years experience helping clients to define their dreams for their new home.  We are an all female shop and bring this distinct perspective to designing the perfect homes for our clients.

Custom New Homes

Architect for Modern-Style Beach Home Design

Have you found the perfect lot with the most beautiful inland or coastal views and you are looking to build your dream home? Swallowtail will work with you to establish all your wants, needs, and desires and create a custom, home design that is perfect for you.  Our expertise in coastal home design aligns budget with goals and focuses on designing spaces that maximizes your enjoyment of living in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Historic Restorations & Renovations

Renovation of a Historic Home in Summerville, SC

Historic homes have charm, character, location, community, and mature landscaping, but they may have creaky floors, outdated amenities, and small rooms.  Modernizing a historic home and updating the space planning for the way people live today not only requires an architectural firm with a mastery of design, but with the expertise of working with local historic design review boards.  Swallowtail seamless blends the old with the new.

Character Lots

Character lots: building a luxury, custom home on a unique property

To achieve the full potential of building on a character lot requires the expertise of Swallowtail Architecture and the experience of navigating what can be site limitations and challenges .  We specialize in understanding local Lowcountry building codes and preserving all of the beauty of the lot you have chosen.

Aging in Place & Flexible Living

Working with an Architect to design a home for Aging in Place in South Carolina

Swallowtail specializes in beautiful design that allows people to age in place and maximize the enjoyment of their home.  Our mission is to create seamless designs for every stage of life and to maximize indoor and outdoor flow and showcase the unique landscape of the Charleston area.

Building in the Lowcountry

The following set of guidebooks are meant for anyone who would like to design and build a luxury, bespoke home in the Charleston area. Our firm specializes in designing homes that serve the modern lifestyle with while evoking the magical combination of serenity, calm, and charm that is inherent to living in the Lowcountry area of South Carolina.  These free resources have been compiled over many years and include our best advice for all phases of the design process.

Swallowtail Guidebooks and Resources

Free Resources and Guides for designing and building a custom home in the Historic Charleston area


Swallowtail Architecture is an award winning architectural design firm including ‘Best Architect in Charleston’ and the ‘Reader’s Choice Award.’ Our work has been published in the Post and Courier, Charleston Living, and Charleston Home + Design among other regional and national publications. We received International recognition in 2017 with four ArCH awards for Design Excellence. View all of our Portfolio of Projects.

Design the Home of Your Dreams
in the Beautiful, South Carolina Lowcountry

It Starts with a Free, 10 minute Q&A with Architect Rachel Burton.
Call Us Today, (843) 885-9400.
What is an ‘Ask the Expert’ Call?

Meet Rachel Burton, AIA

The best architect in the Charleston area for bespoke architecture, Rachel Burton, AIA

Led by Architect Rachel Burton, Swallowtail Architecture is known for their inspired designs of custom residential homes and boutique commercial buildings, which merge the beautiful with the sensible.

Burton personally guides you through the process, whether you wish to build your dream home on a marsh or on a beach on Sullivan’s Island, modify a historic residence in Summerville, or make major modifications or additions to your home on Daniel Island.

Talk to the Architect

From Rachel’s Desk…

Fort Moultrie Project Update

Demolition is underway at the Fort Moultrie 1890’s Ordinance House project. Removal of the interior walls and finishes always reveals hidden gems. In this Sullivan's Island project to convert the former Ordinance Shop into a residential property, we see remnants of a past era and previous renovations.

Swallowtail’s Work Has Been Featured In:

Post and Courier logo Luxe Magazine logo Charleston Home & Design logoSummerville Journal logo Charleston Living Magazine logo The Charleston Business Journal logo AIA logo Architect Rachel Burton of Swallowtail Architecture featured in International Video, The in the Life of an Architect The Island Eye logo