Ross School - Senior Project 2008-09

Student: Kevin Manfredi

Mentor: Jennifer Cross

Title: Beach Residence


The goal of this project was to design and present a modern beach house for a family of four. The design distills the requirements of the family into an efficient building footprint with an exterior deck and pool. Every effort was made to develop a house that maximized the view, revealing the waterfront scenery while minimizing the building footprint and the interruption to the natural landscape. This project evolved into an “upside-down” configuration, separating the two-story house into four distinct zones that remain connected as necessary. The main living area and master suite are situated on the upper level opening onto a long deck that peers over the dunes and native plants. An entertainment room for the children, their bedrooms, and a guest suite are all located on the lower level, creating a division for these spaces from the parent’s accommodations. An interior/exterior walkway serves as a circulation artery from the parking area to the beach and from the upper living spaces to the lower living spaces.

Use of sustainable materials and energy efficient technology are incorporated into the design. Passive and active heating are integral. Sunlight is captured, converted and distributed throughout the house. Solar panels are mounted inconspicuously on the flat roof.  This flat roof allows easy collection of natural precipitation. Rainwater is stored and used to irrigate the landscape. Window and door openings are located to maximize cross ventilation. Materials with favorable thermal properties (such as insulated glass) were selected. Environmentally responsible finishes were selected for the interior; including bamboo flooring, recycled glass tile for the bathrooms and recycled concrete for the kitchen counter tops. 


(Beach Residence Images: Includes 1st & 2nd floor plans, evelations, and 3D perspective images)

The goal for my project was to design a modern beach house using VectorWorks08, a computer design program. Using VectorWorks08, I created floor plans, elevations, and 3D perspective images. My inspiration came from Alastair Gordon’s Weekend Utopia, which illustrated modern beach houses located on the East End providing an appropriate representation of a modern building. Inspired by the aesthetics of modern architecture, I incorporated its simplistic form considering a number of elements including space and function.

My primary goal was to reduce the interruption on the environment by incorporating sustainable materials and preserving the native vegetation. Inspired by the selected materials integrated into the design, I attempted to create an efficient building footprint that respects and interacts with the natural landscape. The schemes begin with the unique characteristics of the site forming a design that responds to sunlight, ventilation, view, and neighboring buildings. The use of insulated glass was crucial within the project as it brought the outdoors inside. My primary goal was to attain a sense of interaction in relation to the natural environment revealing the scenery. An outside deck was incorporated to expand the sense of an open space.

Mindful of the invented client’s desires, efforts were made to develop a house that maximized the view, while minimizing the building footprint. Although the project involved a lesser square footage, attempts were made to establish an equitable living accommodation with a sense of privacy. I believe a designer should be conscious of the beneficial affects of eco-friendly materials and energy efficient technology. With the integration of simplistic aesthetic and sustainable materials, an eco-friendly environment was established forming a place of tranquility for the client.

During the process I encountered some challenges. The main challenge was learning VectorWorks08 during a condensed time period to complete the project. Time management was another challenge that I learned to manage during the process. I would constantly arrange meetings to acquire some feedback on the plan I designed.

For the future, I plan to continue an internship at Stelle Architects and to further pursue my interest on the study of architectural design during college. Giving the opportunity to focus on a thesis project, this process has embodied my passion for architecture, providing a deeper insight of myself as a learner.

Works Cited or Works Consulted

Gordon, Alastair. Weekend Utopia: Modern Living in the Hamptons. New York: Princeton Architectural P, 2001.

Tosher, David. "Senior Project Interview." Interview. 27 Sept. 2008.

Kiss, Laszlo. "ASAP: House About Saving A Planet." 15 Oct. 2008.

Stelle, Fred. "Senior Project Interview." Interview. 8 Sept. 2008.

Ching, Francis D.K. A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. New York: John Wiley & Sons,Inc., 1995.

Ching, Francis D.K. Architectural Graphics. New York: John Wiley & Sons,Inc., 2003.

Ching, Francis D.K. Design Drawing. New York: John Wiley & Sons,Inc., 1998.

VectorWorks2008. Computer software. Vers. 13.0.0.

Adobe Photoshop CS3. Computer software. Vers. 10.0.1.

Community Member (Details)

Outside Consultants: Greg Tietjen & Eleanor Donnely

During the process of creating a product for senior project, both Eleanor and Greg provided me with the information to learn the process of architectural design furthering my interest in pursuing the field of architecture.