About Real Cedar
Architect Specht Architects
Location: Taggart Sorenson
Location: Beach Haven, New Jersey, USA
Construction had just begun on this project when Hurricane Sandy swept through in 2012 causing major damage in the surrounding area. Shortly thereafter, FEMA changed all the regulations regarding beachfront houses, which required the Specht Architects team to a “start from scratch” and redesign the whole house. The clients, obviously, were not happy, but understanding, and worked closely with lead architect Scott Specht as he reworked the design in accordance with the new regulations.
The finished product is a modern house that serves as a model of architectural ingenuity, illustrating how to design and build a home that is resistant to winds and storm surge, yet still remain very aesthetically appealing
“It not only responds to the clients’ needs, but to the extreme environmental conditions of the Jersey Shore,” explains Specht, founding principal at Specht Architects. “It employs materials and techniques that have proven themselves over time as maximally durable in a marine environment, yet the design is not traditional, but modern, compositionally distinct, and takes great advantage of its beach setting.”
For the exterior, they needed a high-performance building material that could stand up to these kinds of conditions but still make a statement architecturally. They chose Western Red Cedar, which is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insects. It is also pitch and resin free, which means it accepts and holds a wide range of finishes beautifully—something Specht took full advantage of with dramatic results.
“We stained and bleached it to create different shades and textures, to emphasize the sculptural quality of the house.”
Western Red Cedar Specifications
Grade: KD Select Knotty
Size: 6″ and 10″ nominal
Finish: stained and bleached
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