Clearwater Beach, FL
2,200 sq ft
The Clearwater Beach House creatively responds to the changing structural requirements to protect properties from storm surges in coastal Florida communities. Set on a corner lot in the middle of an established neighborhood between the Gulf and the Intercoastal, this renovation transformed an existing CBS (concrete block and stucco) three bedroom, ranch style house set just 4 feet above sea level. With family members living nearby, this location was important to the Owners, so we were charged with creating an entirely new raised living level, in compliance with FEMA requirements to an elevation of 11 feet above sea level. The footprint of the existing house was maintained, the roof was removed and parts of the structure now support the new raised living level.
The constraints of the project created unique opportunities: elevated views, redefinition of interior space relationships to a much more open floor plan, and a new meaning of "inside versus outside". The existing walls were structurally underpinned to support the new loads above, and new wood louvers in existing openings at the ground level now allow flood waters to pass through during a flood event.
We employed hurricane-proof glazing and carefully concealed an upper deck mechanical system to keep the home fully operational during weather events. A new elevator and stair provide convenient access to the upper living level from the street and garage. The pool and spa are elevated for convenient access to the living level, while being fully enclosed by mature landscape plantings. Even with its new elevated condition, the completed home and outdoor living areas are unexpectedly grounded and quiet as they overlook the surrounding neighborhood.