Location: Coastal Massachusetts
Architect: Smith and Hutton Architects
Completed: Summer 2014
Photo Credit: Daniel Newcomb (featured image above)
The project is located on a highly exposed and sensitive coastline in Massachusetts. The landscape design restores native ecology to a site frequently pummeled by storms and flooding. The previously occupied by single family residence consisted of manicured lawn, non-native vegetation and a large swimming pool within conservation boundaries of the existing dune. The restoration merges the beach to the house through a vegetated engineered dune. Aesthetically this anchors the architecture in coastal ecology while providing innovative mediation for storm flooding and beach erosion. The property is located at the low point of a larger neighborhood watershed. A brackish rain garden addresses the stormwater from the surrounding area as well as periodic overwash during ocean storms. The dune plantings stabilize the site and provide wildlife habitat. As the site transitions inland the dune blends with low maintenance fescue grasses, sweeps of wild flowers and meadow grasses. A series of boardwalks and beach paths provide circulation on the property while maintaining a rustic informality on the site.