The Swallowtail Team

We are passionate about helping people design custom living spaces that let them enjoy the beauty of our local landscape. Our designs are client focused and our approach is to listen to how clients want to live in their dream home. We are Woman-Owned and Woman-Operated.

Led by Architect, Rachel Burton, we are a woman-owned and woman-operated business.  Our entire team of phenomenal women are working hard every day to help our clients bring their dreams to life of living in the beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry.

Sabrina Patel, RA

Sabrina Patel, RA

Sabrina Patel, RA

Born and raised in Florida, Sabrina attended the University of Miami for her Bachelors of Architecture degree. As a licensed architect with over 15 years of experience in commercial and residential architecture, Sabrina’s quiet confidence provides the space that allows our clients to make their best decisions at each stage.

In her spare time, Sabrina enjoys spending time with her husband, Dip, and young sons Seth and Jathan. Although currently busy chasing after their toddler, she intends to do more mission trips. Her most rewarding trip and fondest memories are from a trip to India’s southern most tip. Here, she helped build brand new homes for a very venerable population who lost their homes to a massive tsunami. This experience combined her heart to serve others with her love and appreciation of architecture–all while being at home in her native land of India.

Lisa Tryssesoone

Lisa Tryssesoone

Lisa Tryssesoone

Anyone working with Lisa knows that she’s a born multi-tasker with her creative heart in the right place. After earning her Master of Architecture at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, in Belgium, where she was raised, Lisa worked as a licensed associate, designing projects for new constructions, renovation and adaptive-reuse, principally single-family homes and mixed-use buildings. Lisa then followed her passion for eco-renovation and urban well-being by serving as a consultant for a city-subsidized NGO.

It was during a family vacation many years ago that Lisa fell under the charm of South Carolina. Now a new resident of Charleston, Lisa loves spending her free time exploring the state with her husband, Timmy and their son Jack, and getting involved in various social justice activities. She also loves sharing her passion for architecture by serving as a docent in one of the oldest church buildings, “an American Treasure”, in downtown Charleston.

Brigitta Burton-Austrom

Brigitta joined the firm in 2021 as our Office Administrator and Rachel’s Assistant. She has many years of experience that make her the perfect fit for this position–“Gitta” is Rachel’s daughter. Gitta uses this insight to assist Rachel with our clients and to help keep the office running smoothly. She graduated from Converse College with a degree in Interior Architecture. She worked in Columbia, SC doing commercial interior design before coming to Swallowtail and back to the Charleston area.

Gitta has been raised in the Low Country of South Carolina and embraces all that the beautiful landscape, culture, and community have to offer. She is a gifted artist and spends her free time on her art work or cooking with her father.

Design from a Female Perspective

The Swallowtail team brings an understanding that is unique to an all-woman architecture firm. Each member of the team is attuned to the relationships among the people and spaces within the home. They understand how everyday tasks, and the project itself, need to flow.  As the mother of four grown children, Principal Architect Rachel Burton knows how precious the time we have together is.  Burton recognizes too the challenges of raising a family and injects into all her designs the expertise of designing a luxury home perfect for the family who will live there. The perfect fit; that’s Swallowtail.

Burton recalls, “As a young architect, I did not have female role models; none of my professors were women, none of the architectural offices where I worked had a female partner, and I never had a female manager.” Though not of the trailblazing generation that opened the doors for other women, Rachel found the door only half open.

“When my high school guidance counselor told me I should not apply for architecture, as I would be taking a spot from a man looking for a professional career to support his family,” Rachel said, “it made me stop before I decided to apply regardless.” After she found her own intern position with a London firm, her university administrator tried to persuade the firm to hire one of her male classmates instead.

When reflecting on her role as the principal architect and owner of Swallowtail Architecture, Burton says “this is something I never dreamed of or aspired to, and, much to my surprise, I find this to be the most rewarding and satisfying role in my career.”

Swallowtail Architecture logo

The name Swallowtail is inspired by the classic swallowtail joint: precise and beautiful. It Signifies a seamless connection and the strength that results

Learn More About Swallowtail Architecture

Looking for an Architect in Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Kiawah Island, and in the Lowcountry area around Charleston, South Carolina? Swallowtail provides residential design services including custom, new homes, historic restorations, whole house renovations, additions, as well as commercial design services for coastal, lowcountry, island, traditional, and modern-beach homes, as well as commercial properties in the Charleston area.