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Born of the Storm

Indestructible beach home

A family had spent just one weekend in their new Falmouth beach home when a microburst from an epic summer storm barreled up Buzzards Bay as they slept, lifting a portion of the roof from their traditional Cape house. While the family was shaken, they were unharmed. Their home, however, was not.

Indestructible beach home

Because of the excessive storm and water damage, the only real option for the young family was to raze and rebuild. Principal Michael Collins of D. Michael Collins Architects would ensure that they would not only have a safe harbor, they’d have the summer getaway they were meant to have.

Indestructible beach home

After that initial devastation, the family had to weather a series of additional hurdles, including new regulations, building restrictions and appeals, and nearly walked away. New flood stipulations meant that the house needed to be raised 13.5 feet off the ground, yet Falmouth’s building height requirements capped the roofline at 34 feet. The new construction would have to be smaller than its predecessor and placed on piers. Collins was able to deftly navigate and respect the codes—managing the space and volume, as well as the aesthetic. In the end, he gave the residents “a clean, modern home” with the Cape Cod charm they were after.

A coin toss from the surf, the house has a boat-like feel and gets dazzling sunsets. “It’s a fun space to be in,” says Collins, “and the clients have expressed how much they love the house.” Best of all, with the pain and process now behind them, the family has a beautiful beach house that is built to last.

“We have managed to create a house that the family can call home once again.” Fittingly, they’ve dubbed it Storm Born—it is a house that will stand tall against anything the Atlantic can throw its way.

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