The best course of action to move forward, therefore, is not to fight nature, but to readapt to the natural environment. Marshland is always prone to flooding and no number of barriers can stop this form occurring. The community must be able to endure this event without sacrificing the region’s attractive lifestyle. Ground footprint of homes should be reduced to the minimum possible and impermeable surfaces removed. Reduced-width streets allow more space for walking, and plantings are native and saltwater resistant. This plan can coexist with existing residents that already invested in raising their homes, but a new building typology will provide the most protection.
The proposed typology is a modification of some of the typical home massings found in the region. The two-story main house volume is draped with a steeply-raked roof, raised above the floodplain, and anchored by a concrete garage and helical pile foundation. The connection to the ground is not lost, however. A folding stair provides direct access to the rear yard and boat canals. Utilities are collected in a single waterproof conduit, continuous from street to the main level of the house. The home can respond to different solar orientations and be expanded for larger lots. These methods represent one building block in the ongoing effort to rebuild and readapt to create a more sustainable community.