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AIA-NJ recognizes Michael Ryan Architects for design of Tidewater Residence


Havre de Grace, MD – The New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) has recognized Michael Ryan Architects with an Honor Award in the built residential category in recognition of its work designing the Tidewater Residence in Havre de Grace. Situated between Chesapeake Bay and the Susquehanna River, Havre de Grace has an active commercial and recreational water culture. The owners of the Tidewater Marina, which is primarily a dock for medium-sized sailboats, were seeking to build a house on a portion of the Marina property. Michael Ryan Architects, which has offices in Philadelphia, PA and Loveladies, NJ, drew inspiration from the property’s waterfront setting when selecting the nautical themes and arrangements for the house. The exterior is comprised of board-formed concrete and painted cement board fabricated to a large-scale clapboard. Instead of traditional railings, stainless-steel boat stays were used along the open stairway connecting the three levels of the home’s interior. The house also features high levels of insulation and a geothermal heat-pump system.

“Our goal with this design was to minimize the building’s physical footprint, in order to maintain the functionality of the existing boat storage areas,” said Michael Ryan, principal of Michael Ryan Architects. “To do so, we condensed the house and built up, including a maximum amount of usable space while disturbing very little of the boatyard.” The house is elevated to protect the ground floor garage, boat storage area and woodshop from floodwater. The house’s middle floor features living areas and guest bedrooms, and the top floor contains a master bedroom and bath. Located within close proximity to the fully functioning boatyard, the residence features views of the Bay and River on the East side, as well as the docked boats on the South and West sides. A carefully framed screened room provides exceptional views of the water, which can also be viewed from the living room and bedrooms. At the same time, the home is protected from outside visibility, keeping a sense of privacy even in the active marina. “Michael Ryan Architects is deserving of accolades for the stunning design of this unique residential project,” said Kimberly Bunn, AIA, president of AIA-NJ. “They did an excellent job of utilizing materials reflective of the riverside location and envisioning a fresh interior with a unique view.” Tidewater Marina is a short walk from the town of Havre de Grace, which has recently been experiencing an increase in population due to new development projects in the surrounding area. The town has easy access to Philadelphia and Baltimore, as well as neighboring suburbs.

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