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In Breezy Point, a dreamy, modern beach house transforms a Sandy-stricken lot

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This contemporary beachfront bungalow sits on what was once an empty lot

Francis Dzikowski/OTTO

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many residents in the semi-private enclave of Breezy Point—where hundreds of homes were destroyed by fire, flooding, or some combination of the two—chose to rebuild, rather than leave the waterfront enclave.

While many of the new homes being built in the Queens neighborhood skew more toward a traditional bungalow style, one homeowner took a different approach; they tapped Brooklyn-based BFDO Architects to build a more contemporary beach house, with a fresh look that’s both practical and beautiful.

But given its location—on the waterfront, and in a neighborhood where new regulations dictate how new structures can be built—the architects faced some challenges. The homes in Breezy Point must now be elevated to comply with FEMA flood standards, but the neighborhood’s own rules dictate that no home must stand taller than 28 feet.

To address the first challenge, BFDO created a wraparound deck that sits atop the elevated portion of the home; one staircase leads from the deck to the beach, while another on the home’s western side connects to a pedestrian pathway between the house and its neighbors. The deck is useful as an entertaining space, and provides some protection from rising waters.

Inside, the home is all modern beach house chic, with a neutral palette accented by pops of blue and green throughout—including in a first-floor bathroom, topped with a skylight, that serves as a place for beach-goers to rinse off after coming in from the sandy seashore. The architects chose cedar for the ceiling, while a more rustic wood is used for accents around the windows and on the staircase.

A master suite is located on the first floor—and has its own access point to the deck—while the second floor is where the homeowners’ children have their bedrooms and play space. Each bedroom has ocean views, and there’s a covered deck off of the rec room, maximizing every inch of available outdoor space.

Despite the home’s modern vibe, it blends in with its beachy surroundings rather well thanks to its light cedar cladding and white, fiberglass-wrapped roof, both of which also serve to protect the home from the sun and other elements. Like we said—practical and beautiful.