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Bishop Gadsden

With the goal of having the chapel look like the community was built around it, tabby stucco was chosen as the building material. This material was used by early settlers to build walls and piers and was produced from oyster shells, sand and water.

Tilt-Up was selected for this project because it was the only feasible system for constructing the walls with the tabby stucco texture. Further, Tilt-Up provided structural stability in an environment at substantial risk from both hurricane and seismic events.

To develop a technique to create the tabby stucco texture, the team brainstormed and tested mockup panels. The solution consisted of hand-stacking the oyster shells in a three-eighths-inch thick sand-bed and using white cement to bond the shells in a textured layer, and then constructing the structural layer.

To create the joints in a manner characteristic of cut stone, 1.5-inch deep reveals beveled at 12.5 degrees were used. Toothed joints were necessary to create the cut stone quoins at the two outside steeple corners. Each joint has nineteen teeth over a 42-foot, 11-inch height.

The color scheme for the project is dominated by the various shades of natural white oyster shells with a white lime wash over exposed concrete. The steeple walls are smooth concrete patterned to simulate cut stone with quoined corners. Tall, slender arched windows are dressed in exposed concrete cut stone trim.

Receiving tremendous attention, the project has been recognized in the local paper, The Post and Courier, which noted how Tilt-Up allowed for a durable structure and fast delivery.

This project demonstrates the versatility and creativity that designers have when employing the Tilt-Up method.

Main banner image for Bishop Gadsden

Project Location

Charleston, SC 29412
United States


The Tilt-Up Achievement Awards were established to honor projects that use site-cast tilt-up concrete to introduce new building types, advance industry technology and provide unique solutions to building programs. Winning entries illustrate the variety, beauty, and flexibility of tilt-up construction.



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Project Images


Project Team (TCA Members)

General Contractor:
Concrete Contractor:
Citadel Contractors, Inc.

Project Specifics

Project Category:
Building Types:
Number of Floors:
Total Floor Area:
4,519 sq ft (420 sq m)
Tallest Panel:
42 ft 11 in (13.08 m)
Largest Panel:
1,182 sq ft (109.8 sq m)
Heaviest Panel:
105,000 lbs (47,627 kg)