About the Website

Launched in 2015, Modern Charleston is a comprehensive architectural survey of twenty-eight buildings built in the Charleston historic district from 2000-2015. The project began as a way to discover and learn more about the present-day architecture of Charleston’s historic district, as well as the current debates centered on the topic of contemporary building in an historical context.

We created this website as a digital place to share this information with others. Thank you for visiting!



Our goal with the Modern Charleston site is to take a closer look at Charleston’s recent architectural developments from the past 15 years and to make this visual information accessible in a digital, user-friendly, interactive environment.

The website is intended for a wide range of users:

  • Charleston residents interested in discovering more about their own city;
  • General public interested in the history of Charleston;
  • Local organizations, including preservation groups, community foundations, historical societies, and other local initiatives, interested in defending and protecting the city’s historic district;
  • Researchers, scholars, and architecture students interested in learning about the Charleston’s architecture and urbanism, and interested in issues related to building contemporary in a historical context;
  • Architects, designers, city planners, and building industry professionals who care passionately about the economical, social, cultural, and artistic success and well-being of places like Charleston’s historic district, especially in the long-term future of 15-50 years.


About the Team Behind It

This website is a project launched by DAESCI : a multidisciplinary design studio led by a husband-and-wife team, Dmitriy and Elizabeth, situated in Europe in Riga, Latvia and London, UK. In addition to our work in architecture and design, we are actively involved in research focused on different cities and buildings around the world. We combine traditional approaches to research (doing archival work, writing, sketching, and direct observation) with digital tools for analysis (generating 3D models, mapping, and creating data visualizations).

We selected Charleston, South Carolina as the focus of this website project because it is known to be an exemplar American city with a deep history and tradition of classical and traditional architecture and human-scaled urbanism, yet one that is constantly facing real-life issues related to new urban developments, housing demands, and differences of opinion about beauty, quality, and sustainability of new architecture.



Our work began in the same way that many research projects on buildings and cities do: we started with the collection and analysis of data based on direct observation. The buildings themselves served as primary sources, while written articles, documents, printed maps, and images served as secondary and archival sources. Then, we used a combination of digital visualization tools and techniques to process, analyze, and share the information. You can discover even more about the project background story here: Learn more.

Much of the information presented on this website depends on a two-and-a-half-month stay in Charleston in the heart of the Peninsula during summer 2015 by the DAESCI Design Studio team. During this time, we carried out the independently-conducted, self-funded, self-initiated research behind the Modern Charleston project.


Top Charleston Resources

Websites : these sites focus on Charleston, SC and regularly feature architectural news and discussion:

Places : these are libraries, archives, and other places where you can do research in and on Charleston:


Top Technical Resources

  • OpenLayers 3 – an open-source JavaScript library for displaying and building maps
  • D3.js – a JavaScript library for creating interactive data visualizations on the web
  • QGIS – an open-source Geographic Information System for visualizing and publishing GIS data


Copyright and Usage

Original materials, writings, and photographs on this site have been created by DAESCI and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License. If you would like to use any photos, they can be freely used in any publication as long as you credit it as a project by DAESCI. We ask that you also please also send us a copy of the publication through our Contact page or by email at info@moderncharleston.com.