The Intracoastal Waterway runs along the east coast of the United States, connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and comprising many kinds of waterways. This project sits on one of those waterways – the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal – in a wooded beach neighborhood and facing perennial wetlands.

The design agenda called for a sensitive response to climate and site. The house is sited to maximize views to the canal and wetlands, simultaneously providing a variety of protected and shaded exterior spaces. The form of the house is split by a glazed entry foyer, offering views along a continuous boardwalk from the streetside through the foyer to the canal and marsh.

Creating a shaded place, saving all the trees on site, capturing yet protected from sun and breeze, maximizing views, creating habitat for bees, birds, and other flora and fauna – these are some of the project’s sustainable strategies employed to decrease energy demand and enhance building-site synergy.

The project focuses on passive sustainable strategies in order to decrease energy demands, and burden on the local utilities, and enhance building-site synergy. By creating a highly performance building envelope, employing a geothermal system, careful zoning, and employing an energy recovery ventilator, energy costs are minimized. Operable windows and skylights, including in the open, gabled stairway, allow for natural ventilation and take advantage of the stack effect. Reclaimed and recycled materials, LED lighting, and extensive native plantings comprise some of the sustainably minded elements of the project.

The home is a home for the beach, not a suburban home transplanted to the beach. The heart of the home is where the towels are! Spaces for circulation, gathering, and chance encounters of the extended family and friends who gather and hang about the inside and outsides spaces. The kitchen bridges the interior and exterior, linking a porch with the living and dining areas. Materials are matter of fact, rough-hewn, utilitarian. A home for the grill, kayaks, laundry, outdoor showers, and beach storage were as important as spaces for sleeping, eating, and hanging out.

Gardner Architects LLC uploaded Home on the Intracoastal Waterway through Add A Home.
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Interior Design
  • Kitchen: Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath
Landscape Design
  • Jordan Honeyman Landscape Architecture
  • Beachwood Inc.
  • John Cole Photography


  • 4
  • Full Baths
  • 4
  • Partial Baths
  • 1
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Year
  • 2015
  • Square Feet
  • 3500
  • Lot Size
  • 15000sf