Surf & Turf: Wave-Shaped Home Lofted in FEMA Flood Zone


Florida beaches can be beautiful … but floods are far from fun (and all too frequent). This house, however, seems to welcome (or challenge) oncoming waves with a huge sweeping arc of its own.

This impressive mid-sized vacation-and-guest residence is situated on a thin barrier island, straddling a forested strip of Casey Key turf sandwiched in surf on both sides.

Designed by Totems Inc to mimic canoe and ship hulls, glue-laminated pine beams bring wooden warmth to the inside (and reference surrounding oaks) while allowing curves that would be impossible with traditional lumber.

Sometimes the best home property insurance for a flood lies in the architecture rather than a contract. Lofting the main living quarters a story above the ground provides built-in management, as damage is much harder to clean up in occupied interior zones (and mold is a serious issue).

The simple main-floor plan consists of a single bedroom, bathroom, living area and kitchenette – a cozy bedroom is lofted above. Below, steel pilings sunk directly into the ground prevent root-system damage and provide support if the lower level is flooded.

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