Vernacular Architecture: The Freedman's Cottage

The “freedman’s cottage” is a vernacular form found in Beaufort, SC. These were the first houses of the newly African Americans of the Lowcountry, and they are primarily found in the Northwest quadrant of Beaufort’s historic district. These cottages are typically two rooms with around 500 square feet.  Beaufort's Northwest quadrant has many historical examples, many with additions. Some of these cottages are immaculately maintained, while others are in need of TLC. 

The Freedman's cottage works well in our hot and humid climate. With less square footage, heating and cooling the space is much easier. Similar to the Dog Trot, the Freedman's cottage is generally oriented to face the North or South, with fewer windows on the East or West sides, which reduces solar gain. Cross-ventilation is maximized in the one-room thickness. High ceilings allow the heat to rise. The houses are raised off the ground to allow for more air circulation and to keep the house out of the flood plain. Hot Humid Solutions has adapted this form for the 21st Century. We envisioned a sustainable and energy efficient cottage, that is both comfortable and contemporary and created The Juniper. See the plans here.