Charlestown Beach House

After the south coast of Rhode Island was hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, waterfront homes became subject to even more stringent coastal building codes. This new residence at 830 Charlestown Beach Road in South Kingston, Rhode Island was designed in response to emerging environmental threats such as rising sea levels and strengthening storms.

The Owner, an industrial design entrepreneur, wanted a resilient, modern beach house that celebrated contemporary detail and maximized views of the Atlantic Ocean. The result was a crisp, orderly design with the simplicity and materiality of a coastal cottage, yet distinctively unique from its traditional New England-style neighbors. The western red cedar was crafted as a ‘rain screen’ for a high performance twist on the weathered wood vernacular.

The project is designed to stringent coastline standards for new construction, including elevating the structure and creating a ‘break-away’ story on the lowest level that is a cohesive part of the design and avoids a ‘stilted’ effect.  This need to elevate the house is turned into an asset, with open living areas on the uppermost floor enjoying panoramic views of the horizon.

The compact design incorporates passive solar techniques keeping this beach house comfortable year-round despite being exposed to the fluctuations of New England’s seasonal weather.


Merit Award AIA Rhode Island, 2018