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Isle of Palm’s Waste Water Treatment Plant

How Do You Fit a Waste Water Treatment Plant into a Residential Neighborhood?

The Isle of Palms, a barrier island of the coast of South Carolina near Charleston, is known for its beaches, marinas, restaurants and great vacation rental homes.  It is not known for its industrial plants, which is why Swallowtail was asked to help when a local engineering firm was engaged to design a new waste water treatment plant.

Porches are a primary feature for many southern homes, providing much needed shade as well as access to the home. The porch is also an important part of the Forest Trails Waste Water Treatment Plant.

The site, on the marsh side of the island near the Isle of Palms Marina, was highly visible from 41st Avenue. Despite its utilitarian function and requirement for a tall boxy shape, the building needed to be considerate of it’s residential setting to fit in.

Residential Design Features

The porch is an important feature for many southern homes – before air conditioning, the porch it was usually the coolest place on a hot summer day. Now, the porch not only helps establish the character of a home, it a well used outdoor room.

The Treatment Plant’s porch provides access to the upper deck, as well as protected work areas. The spacing and design of the columns and the use of horizontal louvers to provide visual privacy and shading is a residential design feature re-imagined to help provide detail and texture to this otherwise utilitarian box.

The color scheme for the Treatment Plant refers back to many of is residential neighbors- the traditional haint blue ceiling; cream trim and columns; with a galvalume silver metal roof