The Architecture of Listening

Founding Principals James Atkins and William Court first crossed paths working on Hilton Head Island. Their minds, a contrast of sorts – Atkins, the left-brained pragmatist, and Court, the right-brained artist, spent a decade honing skills and curating ideas, often over shared bourbon, before launching their studio. Roughly ten years later Principal Deb Van Plew joined as the Director of Interior Design. 

Now, with their roots firmly in Bluffton, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, the team is celebrated for its diverse and impressive work, but they often give that credit to their clients. James notes, “Our ideal clients are engaged, active, and discerning. They have a point of view and stories to share.” William adds, “They are interesting and muti-faceted people who are driven in their own line of work. We have to earn their trust. In return they advocate on our behalf and allow us to create spaces that reflect the richness of life.”   

Consider the Water Trail Residence in Palmetto Bluff, a design that meanders along the water’s edge – a structure rarely more than one room deep, allowing light to dance along its spaces throughout the day.  The residence is a symphony of client experiences, carefully blended to create spaces that are distinctly Lowcountry but reminiscent of a life also lived in Big Sky.  The combination of tumbled brick, live bark siding, heavy timbers, and metal doors create a dramatic entrance to a serene and refined interior.      

The Goose Pond Residence on Spring Island is another exemplar, designed with a focus on client privacy while maximizing outdoor living and Colleton River views.  The home is a collection of layered gathering spaces that change as the sun travels across the waterfront.  The tiered terraces blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living and offer varying perspectives of the surrounding ecosystem.  Inside, the careful blend of existing art and new furnishings curate's client memories and surrounds them with luxury and comfort.   

In a different vein, the re-envisioning of the River House at Montage Palmetto Bluff showcases Court Atkins Group’s versatility in the hospitality realm.  The renovation of this iconic structure maintains the essence of a building where so many memories have already been made, while inserting new life and new opportunity.  Glassed-in porches and elevated finishes set the tone for a new fine dining experience and a playfully hidden lower-level entrance opens to an exclusive new speakeasy.    

 In essence, the narrative of Court Atkins Group is one of listening. In doing so, they carefully weave architecture and interior design, creating a unified vision that embodies the lives and dreams of their occupants. It’s a story of crafting environments that resonate with the richness of life and a testament to the power of inspired design.