A coast offers you a rejuvenating view, fresh mornings, and always a relaxed vibe around, but it also brings with it, high winds, constant humidity, wind-driven rain, occasional floods, and sandy soil to build on. Lucky for us, apart from the high profile and large scale coastal projects, a lot many small scales, wishful projects exist. So, your dream of building a coastal home can be achieved without much fuss. Just make sure to consider the following 10 tips right below.

Homes and resorts on the coast are indeed the epitome of luxury. Everyone loves the vibe that the coast entails, and wishes to cherish it throughout their days. It is a common preference for high-end resorts and hotels. On a vacation to the coast, all of us wish to stay, where we can see it. And with the progress in engineering technologies and material science across the globe, not just buildings, but even man-made islands have proven to be a success.

The homeowners and designers want to build a home, amidst the aura of the ocean. Although today building on a coastal area is nothing new, it is very normal to be anxious before doing so. No doubt it is different from the conventional cookie cutter. A coast offers you a rejuvenating view, fresh mornings, and always a relaxed vibe around, but it also brings with it, high winds, constant humidity, wind-driven rain, occasional floods, and sandy soil to build on. Lucky for us, apart from the high profile and large scale coastal projects, a lot many small scales, wishful projects exist. So, your dream of building a coastal home can be achieved without much fuss. Just make sure to consider the following 10 tips right below.

Aesthetic Aspects

1. Dream your Home!- All concerns and challenges apart, it is very important to dream! Think about the type of house you want to live in. Give a few days to decide, whether you want the stunning view from a specialized room or a deck, or comfortably lying around in your living area. Think about the colors, aesthetics, and style you or your client prefers. The following are some initial questions to ask.

    1. Vernacular or elite?
    2. Bold or White?
    3. Warm or Cool?
    4. Bohemian or Scandinavian?
    5. Levels or no levels?
    6. Deck or Yard?

2. Green it up: You are sure to be a nature lover if you wish to live on a beach or near a river. So, show it. Before construction begins, plant the trees and plants in your yard, and the entrance. The surrounding greens are very important to enhance the rejuvenating vibe and make it feel like home instantly.

This Alibaug beach house by Mumbai architects, Architecture Brio is an apt project to demonstrate the importance of greens. They raised the front garden by 5 feet, to sync it with the design and the view, retained maximum trees, and lined the infinity pool with tall palm trees, thus livening up the neutral palette with turquoise, beige and greens of nature.

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Architecture Brio- Source: ©Designboom
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Architecture Brio- Source: ©Designboom
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Architecture Brio- Source: ©Designboom

3. Make light your first occupant! –Make sure, you have other sources of natural light in your 

home other than large dream fenestrations. Elements like skylights and ventilators (high windows) and jails, keeps the home lighted, even in the hours of privacy, when curtains need to be shut. Light will make your house resonate with its coastal surroundings and make it feel alive.

This beach homestay in Vung Tau, Vietnam, has used all the ways to let the light in, and the result is as lively as it could be.

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Beach homestay by Prana Architects- ©Archdaily
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Beach homestay by Prana Architects- ©Archdaily

4. Build outdoor spaces: Outdoor spaces like an outdoor kitchen, deck with a built-in comfy couch, or semi-open bathrooms, can be a great way to feel nature and blend the interior and the exterior into the lifestyle. But make sure to shade them appropriately for a comfortable time there. With so much awareness about vernacular and globalization around, finding the right durable materials for these spaces would not be much of a problem.

Look at this outdoor living and dining space, for example. Isn’t it worth it?

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3 Sea Hut Homestay- ©Kochi
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3 Sea Hut Homestay- ©Kochi

5. Flooring- If you/your client and the family are the fun messy kind, who like to get wrapped up in sand and mud and water once in a while, rugs and carpets could be a great mood spoiler. Instead use easy to clean painted floors/tiles.

While we are at it, why not sprinkle the floor with some subtle pattern to match the mood?

The Goa beach house by Sarah Sham would sway your inclination towards some trendy floor and wall patterns paired with a lively bright house.

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 4 Goa BeachGoa Beach House by interior designer Sarah Sham.- ©esajeeattelier
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4 Goa BeachGoa Beach House by interior designer Sarah Sham.- ©esajeeattelier
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 4 Goa BeachGoa Beach House by interior designer Sarah Sham.- ©esajeeattelier

Now, since the dream is conceived and brought that smile to your face, it’s time to dive into the technical concerns, which will not scare you off now!

6. on’t Go Cheap on Materials: Understand and research on corrosion-resistant materials. The salt and humidity can facilitate corrosion to a high extent, which would lead to the pain of weak foundations or replacement of doors windows or cladding material.

Sweden Architect Arne Algeröd and his artist wife built this intimate yet nature integrated house, with careful consideration of materials, and they are sure proud of it. “In a location such as this, it is necessary to choose materials which can withstand the strain,” said Ar. Arne Algeröd. Thus, corrugated fiber cement panels are cladded to protect it from the sea’s salty spray and harsh winds, as fiber cement is durable, affordable and maintenance-free material.

There are plenty of other materials in the market, Just the right research and availability, and one issue addressed.

7. Know Your Flood Zones: Which flood zone does your plot lie in? It’s nice to have water around the house once in a while if you and your house are prepared to deal with it. However, you need to know how much it will add to your cost. Two zones that need extra measures are A and V zones. Although both the zones carry some of the same code requirements, A zone would add up to 10-15% to the cost, whereas the V zone is more expensive adding up to 15-30% to the total cost. Additional requirements include mainly (coastal homeplans.com)

    1. Additional ties, straps, stirrups, anchors, etc. required by the building code
    2. Windows with upgraded wind ratings
    3. The added cost for elevating the structure.

8. Consider the Wind Pressure. The Manshausen Island resort in Norway, by Stinessen Arkitektur, is built up of cabins, to provide seclusion and sea views(one of the best ways to view northern lights. But each cabin is designed asymmetrically to deflect the powerful northern winds. (independent). Dodging the wind, in terms of orientation and careful location of fenestrations can go a long way for your beach house!

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Manheussen Beach Resort, Norway- ©Archdaily
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Manheussen Beach Resort, Norway- ©Archdaily
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Manheussen Beach Resort, Norway- ©Archdaily
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Manheussen Beach Resort, Norway- ©Archdaily
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Manheussen Beach Resort, Norway- ©Archdaily

9. Safeguarding the outdoor spaces. The outdoor spaces get a lot of slant rain and salt spray from the surroundings and thus possess a rather good chance for the hardware or the joints to get corroded. Make sure to protect the joints, and use weatherproof materials for flooring, and to check leakage or corrosion. After all, you don’t want your deck to be damaged by the winds and salt!

10. Respect the surroundings: Although this is an aesthetic aspect, yet more significant than the technical ones. It is of prime importance to respect the surroundings while freezing on a form for your home.

Look at this beautiful contemporary, beach home, respecting the topography and surroundings with its section and neutral colors. 

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Kalim Beach House- Design Qa- ©Archdaily
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Kalim Beach House- Design Qa- ©Archdaily

In the end, this statement rightly describes the mood you need to start! ”The quality of architecture is about poetry and beauty but it’s also about detail and perfection.”- Renzo Piano (about the eighty-seven park, on Miami beachfront)

Author

Mubaraka Surury Saifee is a passionate architect and writer with a keen ability to appreciate the humble gestures of architecture. She believes that there always exists more than single way of looking at things. She sees architecture and writing combined as a medium to reach people and produce some food for thought, to bring positive changes in the society.

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