2021 Honor Award
Large-Scale Residential Design
LaGuardia Design Group
Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects
Fountainhead Construction Inc.
Peconic Environmental Associates
About the Project:
Marine Meadow is an example of new infrastructure creating opportunity to improve and restore the environmental systems of a site. The pre-existing landscape was comprised of sprawling impervious surfaces, overgrown ornamental and invasive plantings, as a well as low-lying, non-FEMA compliant structures, posing a safety hazard to the surrounding area.
The re-development of the home and landscape opened the door for a new design that re-harmonizes the site with its surrounding natural systems. The home and guest house rise out of the grade, anchored by a native planting palate, blurring the lines between structure and site. The result is a project that marries a once dilapidated property back into its natural setting, through the restoration of wetland and coastal habitats.
Special Factors & Additional Information:
Tucked between Mecox Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, this property boasts spectacular views, but it is also subject to stringent national and local building parameters. Most significant was a FEMA requirement to raise the two residences, protecting it from future storm events. To bridge the disconnect between the buildings and the site, several devices were implemented by the landscape architect.
On the ocean-side of the main residence, the site plan re-established a large, dune landform to physically protect the building and re-connect the house with its maritime landscape. To mitigate future erosion of the dune, American Beach Grass was used to cover the exposed sand, also creating nesting habitat for local Piping Plovers.
On the bay-side of the property, laid a problematic area, which needed to be raised 10’ in order to cover a new sanitary system and site drainage structures. Using this as an opportunity to strengthen the site’s bond with its natural surroundings, the area was designed as a wildflower and grass meadow, dual purposed as a rain garden. The perennial wildflower meadow serves as a vital feeding and nesting habitat for pollinators such as bees, butterflies throughout the seasons.
Understanding the significant impact of restoring natural systems, a conscious decision was made to use native plants as much as possible for the entire project; even in areas where ornamental planting would be permissible. By doing so, the landscape became a sustainable part of the larger environmental context, improving the water quality, creating habitat, increasing bio-diversity and reducing water and energy consumption. Clean lines of built elements work in harmony with organic forms in the landscape. The result is a project that feels thoughtfully integrated into its natural setting.
1. Cover Image – Anthony Crisafulli
2. Site Plan- LaGuardia Design Group
3. Diagram- LaGuardia Design Group
Section Diagram demonstrating dune restoration and site programming.
4. Image- Anthony Crisafulli
Aligning with the sites goal of permeability and site sensitivity, the main parking area was designed using grass pave blocks interwoven with red fescue and surrounded with native plantings.
5. Image- Anthony Crisafulli
Light beige stone steps, selected to match the dune sand, climb their way from the parking area up to the house through native grasses and bayberry, bringing the meadow concept right to the front door.
6. Image- Anthony Crisafulli
The meadow brings one in close contact with butterflies and flowers, as one moves from the house to the pool, creating a visual and physical connection to nature.
7. Image- Anthony Crisafulli
View of the swimming pool overlooking the main house with restored dune and ocean beyond.
8. Image- Anthony Crisafulli
The importance of wildflower meadows can’t be understated, providing bees, butterflies and other pollinators with food sources throughout the seasons.
9. Image- Anthony Crisafulli
Not only is this native wildflower meadow a picturesque view, it’s also a vital feeding and nesting habitat for insects, birds, small animals and butterflies!
10. Image- Anthony Crisafulli
A native wildflower meadow was planted as groundcover over the sanitary and drainage field in lieu of any fertilizer or irrigated lawn between the main house and guest house.
11. Image- Anthony Crisafulli
The vanishing edge swimming pool, clad in black granite, overflows into a narrow gravel bed edged with sedge grass. Creating the appearance of water spilling directly into the meadow.
12. Plant List