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© Mark Teppper


Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Shrewsbury River, the barrier island of Sea Bright, New Jersey, sustained significant damage during Hurricane Sandy, and is still vulnerable to sea level rise and natural disasters in the near and distant future. By introducing dunes and dynamic topography that guide stormwater through the site and lifting the house 12’ above sea level, Resilient Dunescape responds to the inevitability of sea level rise by utilizing natural processes as inspiration to embrace flooding in the design.

The plant palette includes native and adaptive plant species which tolerate a range of soil, light, and microclimatic conditions, resulting in root systems that secure topography and protect the ecosystem during storm events. With additional functions like privacy screens and windbreaks from trees, and native plants creating habitats for local wildlife, the plantings create a low-maintenance landscape with seasonal interest.

With areas for infiltration and retention created by the dune-scape, flooding is also mitigated by retaining walls cut through a dune under the house. This design channels floodwater from river to ocean, protecting the residence. In the backyard, terraces are created with dual functionality as a space for enjoyment and a means to retain floodwater through porous materiality and planting. The modular decking is also able to lift during critical storm surges to minimize damage to permanent structures. By integrating versatile features and detailed foresight into the design, Resilient Dunescape works with nature to embrace future changes to the environment through resiliency and innovation.


Sea Bright, New Jersey, USA


Dirtworks Landscape Architecture P.C



Architect: Raad Studio


The Todd Group




Dirtworks Landscape Architecture P.C

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