Facing the damage and devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, many residents of New Jersey’s coastal communities were ready to pack up, leave their homes and retreat. FEMA declared Mr. Bill Meyer’s 2,000 square foot home, located immediately on the Manahassett Creek in Monmouth Beach, N.J. beyond rehabilitation. But having lived in the Monmouth Beach community for 50 years, Mr. Meyer felt strong ties to his community and refused to pack up and leave. Instead, he decided to rebuild a more resilient “forever home” that will support himself and his family, sustaining their future life in the community of Monmouth Beach.

Equally as important are universal design solutions to provide maximum accessibility and flexibility

Mr. Meyer’s residence in Monmouth Beach incorporates a variety of innovative and mindful design elements to better adapt and prepare for the unexpected. Many priorities are at play: fundamentally, the location demands a resilient construction to withstand regular coastal storms. Equally as important are universal design solutions to provide maximum accessibility and flexibility: a unique approach to aging in place so that Mr. Meyer may age in his home regardless of any decline in health and mobility. This inspiration came after meeting Michael Graves, whose paralysis influenced his approach to architecture and design. Additional design considerations were continuing to elevate architectural standards in the community, meeting requirements to collect federal and local grants and most of all, designing a home that delivered all the pleasures of living on the shore in good weather! By engaging in a holistic approach to this unique combination of design priorities, an enduring and deeply human design solution was created.

The project is currently under construction and is scheduled for completion in 2018. Follow us along in this feature series as we explore how the many design priorities of the Meyer House come together to produce a unified, resilient design solution.

See the house featured in the Wall Street Journal article about rebuilding after a disaster by clicking this link.