Home 2018-11-14T14:51:09+00:00

Bespoke Architectural Services

Swallowtail Architecture specializes in custom residential home design for new builds and whole house, major renovations in the Historic Charleston area including the barrier islands of Sullivan’s, Isle of Palms, Kiawah, Seabrook, and Daniel Island, as well as in Mount Pleasant and Summerville.  Our focus, as Charleston Architects, is to design custom homes that are unique to our clients with stunning, one-of-a-kind details.  We showcase our beautiful coastal setting in our designs and create a connection from the outside to the inside so that our clients can live their best life in the home of their dreams.  We specialize in building on character lots and universal design that creates homes for flexible living for all stages of life.  We are also available to design boutique, commercial properties.

The Best Architectural Firm in Charleston voted in The Post and Courier Charleston Choice Awards

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Historic homes have charm, character, location, community, and mature landscaping, but they may have creaky floors, outdated amenities, and small rooms.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 ‘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.

Lowcountry Meets New Orleans Style 2018-08-23T16:15:44+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…

Swallowtail’s Work Has Been Featured In:

Post and Courier features Charleston Architect Luxe Magazine logo Charleston Home & Design features Charleston ArchitectSummerville Journal features Summerville Architect Charleston Living Magazine features Charleston Architect The Charleston Business Journal features Charleston Architect AIA features Charleston Architect Architect Rachel Burton of Swallowtail Architecture featured in International Video, The in the Life of an Architect The Island Eye features Sulivan's Island Architect   Architect News features Swallowtail Architecture