Living Your Best Life
in the Home of Your Dreams

Swallowtail Architecture specializes in designing homes that are the perfect compliment to the vision you have for your life in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Whether you are looking at a new build or considering a whole house, major renovation, Swallowtail’s process of active listening is focused on creating a custom home design that is unique to you with stunning, one-of-a-kind details. With your every need in mind, we craft a design plan that merges the practical, the emotional, and the financial. As Charleston Architects, we design bespoke living spaces with an indoor and outdoor flow that allow you to enjoy the beauty of our coastal setting whether that be in the Historic Charleston area, or the barrier islands of Sullivan’s, Isle of Palms, Kiawah, Seabrook, and Daniel Island, or in town in communities like Mount Pleasant and Summerville. We are also available to design boutique, commercial properties.

Charleston Award-Winning Architecture Firm

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 custom dream home?   Whether the lot is empty or there’s a tear down, Swallowtail will work with you to define all your dreams, wants, needs, and desires to create a custom home design that is perfect for you.  Our expertise in coastal home design aligns goals to maximize your budget while focusing on the elements that will enrich your life 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Historic homes have charm, character, location, community, and mature landscaping, but they may have creaky floors, outdated amenities, and small rooms.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.  Trust Swallowtail to seamlessly navigate this process and blend the old with the new with stunning results.

Character Lots

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

Focus on the possibilities, not the limitations ….  Building on a character lot requires the expertise of Swallowtail Architecture where we put our decades of experience to bear in navigating what can be a daunting process to ensure the home you’ve envisioned will work on the lot you’ve chosen.   We understand local Lowcountry building codes and the balance of preserving all of the beauty of the lot you have chosen.  Let us help you achieve the full potential of building on a challenging lot in the Lowcountry.

Aging in Place & Flexible Living

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

Designing a retirement home in the Lowcountry or simply planning ahead for your forever home, our mission is to create beautiful designs that allow people to age in place and maximize the enjoyment of their home at all stages of life.  Throw out the ideas of clunky design and grab bars.  Universal design is something we consider with every project so that we can elegantly integrate design techniques for flexible living whether you are an empty nester, retiree, or want a family home for multi-generational living.

Lowcountry Home Design

Our firm designs 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 home design process.   These free guidebooks are meant for anyone who would like to design and build a luxury, bespoke home in the Charleston area.

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 ‘Best in Summerville.” 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 2018 and 2017 for Design Excellence.  See our award winning designs in our Portfolio of Projects.

Seabrook Marsh Island Home Renovation to Showcase Views2020-11-19T21:00:16+00:00
Summerville Historic Home Conversion2020-09-17T13:57:31+00:00
An American Twist on Classic Meets Coastal on Sullivan’s Island2021-06-29T20:51:29+00:00

Front elevation golf course home on Kiawah Island

Interested in projects we are currently working on?
View our collection of projects currently on the boards.

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.  We are an all female shop and bring this distinct perspective to designing Lowcountry.

Talk to the Architect

From Rachel’s Desk…

Deciding to Age in Place

What to Consider When Deciding to Stay in Your Home for Retirement "The coastal communities of South Carolina [...]

Swallowtail’s Work Has Been Featured In:

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