Helen Thompson
Helen Thompson
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A new weekend residence for a family of five by Austin-based Specht Architects on Long Beach Island in New Jersey faced many challenges besides the obvious one: The location is in the direct path of hurricanes, most notably Hurricane Sandy which destroyed the house originally on the site in 2012. The lot is very small and on the beachfront, tucked away from the street. Because there are many code-regulated square-footage and height restrictions in this area, the architects’ challenge was to create something open and light-filled that would take advantage of the beautiful setting while still using every available square inch of buildable area allowed by law.

Despite its modest 2500-square-foot envelope, the house features a room for every child, plus a guest room that doubles as an office, a lounge, an elevated hot tub area, and a large living / dining / kitchen space.

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A light wood exterior accented with black details alludes to the beach environment where the house exists. Windows are the highest hurricane-rating available.

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Two types of cedar were used on the exterior to lend a contrasting sculptural dynamic to the house.

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Boat-building techniques were used in the construction of the house.

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The main living, dining, and kitchen are in the same room where a custom accent wall features a subtle wallpaper installation by Calico Wallpaper.

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Another view of the living area.

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A sculptural lighting fixture above the dining table is by Ladies and Gentlemen Studio.

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The cabinets extend all the way to the ceiling in the kitchen, allowing for lots of storage. An efficient use of countertop space extends the surface to provide a place for seating.

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Bedroom with private balcony and fireplace.

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Wood-and-steel stairs lead to the home’s upper level and wrap around a stairwell light by Colony–Allied Maker.

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Treated pine telephone pole pilings were driven into the sand to support the house as a way to accommodate high winds the house may experience in future storms.

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The roof is all fiberglass, and the exterior components all stainless steel.



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