Set amidst a wild expanse of grassy fields and moss-draped live oaks, Silk Hope is The Ford Field & River Club’s newest residential enclave where contemporary, English village-inspired homes offer families a dream-worthy lowcountry retreat. And since every immaculate square foot of Silk Hope started with just a small idea, we wanted to learn more from one of the visionary architects himself: Christian Sottile of the award-winning, Savannah-based firm, Sottile & Sottile. Below, we discuss design, inspiration, collaboration and more, all of which unveils Silk Hope’s elegant modern character and authentic historical roots.
What was the inspiration behind the design of the homes in Silk Hope?
Silk Hope Village is a unique expression of timeless, lowcountry architecture. The homes evoke a scale, character and material palette that are timeless, honest and noble. Informed by the English heritage of provincial settlements, the homes are characterized by an informal massing that evokes the English and French derivations found in the lowcountry. The Silk Hope homes are set within a walkable village setting, enjoying interior and exterior views with personal courtyard gardens and generous community green spaces. These homes embody a simpler lifestyle deeply rooted in the picturesque lowcountry landscape.
Describe the Silk Hope enclave in three words.
Timeless, elevated, authentic.
What details have to be considered when designing a collection of new homes within an established community?
Within the Silk Hope neighborhood, designing with a very special context in mind was an important foundation for the overall process. There was a distinct focus on the setting being very pedestrian-friendly, so we made sure to include features such as walking paths that reveal numerous views and linked to all of Silk Hope’s shared amenities, such as the Great Lawn, walking gardens and fireside gathering place. Each of the Silk Hope homes is designed to build on the vision and character of this unique neighborhood.
What’s your favorite element of the Silk Hope home designs?
Their quality, intimacy and timelessness. These exquisite homes are composed of simple, refined detailing and are constructed using authentic “forever” materials such as brick, slate, timber and copper, which require minimal maintenance and, in fact, continue to improve in beauty and value over time as they patina. I also love that, if they enter the process at the right time, buyers can choose their preferred materials for our built-to-suit homes, like 80 Riceland Way and 134 Riceland Way. This allows homeowners to add their own touch to the home, which makes it even more special and unique.
What sets Silk Hope apart from other enclaves within The Ford?
The design for Silk Hope created a refreshingly unique neighborhood within the Ford Field & River Club. It centers on the idea of community and well-being through a series of walkable neighborhood experiences, knitting together community features such as the generous Great Lawn, the historic oak allée and the adjacent Wildlife Sanctuary.
What is your favorite community feature of the new Silk Hope enclave?
I feel a great sense of well-being when I walk through Silk Hope’s interconnected community spaces—from the majestic oak allée, across the expansive Great Lawn, to the intimate landscape on Riceland Way and onward to the Wildlife Sanctuary.
Which Silk Hope home design is your personal favorite, and why?
Each of these homes has such a unique personality — from the graciously sloping roofs to generous expanses of windows, all set within a material palette of the highest quality.
I really enjoy the airiness of the living spaces in 96 Riceland Way, which is a turn-key, Longleat Village home. The kitchen opens to the main living room, which has these amazing soaring ceilings—it’s just a wonderfully bright, inviting home. And I also love the elegant bay window and side porch entrance on the Foxley design. It’s a wonderful blend of the Savannah and Charleston traditions.
What value has your collaboration on these designs offered?
Developing the master plan and the overall community vision for Silk Hope has been a world-class collaboration with the McAlpine and Tippett Sease Baker team. Sottile & Sottile’s many years of experience in the lowcountry, and our deep understanding of nationally registered historic districts, provides meaningful insight into how these designs will contribute to the longevity of this very special place. We are witness to a moment in history as the elements being set in place today will endure for centuries to come. We see these homes as jewel boxes, each with a special contribution to the full, vibrant fabric of the neighborhood.
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