The Salt Box Residence

The Salt Box Residence

Parnagian Architects
Mantoloking, NJ, USA | View Map
Project Year
Private Houses

Life Above the Salt Marsh

Parnagian Architects as Architects

A 2,400 square foot home sited in the low lying, flood prone salt marshes of New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay. The client’s brief was to design a lasting replacement for a multi-generational family home that had been damaged beyond repair during Hurricane Sandy. The site is situated at the end of a small peninsula, bound directly to the west by a commercial shipyard and marina, and to the north, south and east by expansive views of the Barnegat Bay. 


Constrained by local ordinance to the existing footprint of the previous home, Salt Box takes on a narrow, rectilinear form. Slight internal shifts in plan and volume create spaces for both retreat and gathering. A patterned rain screen composed of alternating width Atlantic White Cedar boards  cloaks the exterior. The cedar weathers to a natural grey, a subtle design move to give it the appearance of having always been there.


An open living, dining and kitchen area is considered as an "outdoor room" with a double height volume and floor-to-ceiling glass, inviting inhabitants into the landscape. A small study perched above from the second floor looks out into the space below and views beyond. Variations in the porosity of the rain screen create a lively play of interior light and shadow throughout the day while mitigating solar heat gain across the entire building envelope. The "outdoor room" serves as a shady refuge within the vast salt marsh landscape. A free-standing wood burning fireplace sits prominently within the space. The exterior cedar soffit permeates  through to the interior forming a continuous  ceiling lining. White Oak flooring and joinery and white painted cement board and plasterboard compose the majority of the interior material palette. An array of photo-voltaic panels at the roof level provides electricity for the home, taking advantage of the gently sloping planar roof surface and abundant southwesterly sun exposure.

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