HD Squared Architects
  • Riverside waterfront gameroom renovation


Nestled in a dense area of waterfront homes in Herald Harbor is a new testament to quality over quantity as a 1930’s fishing shack is replaced with a 1360 square foot retreat on the Severn River. Approaching the street front façade, it is immediately evident that every inch of landscape, hardscape and structure is in place with a purpose.

The design-build team of HD Squared Architects’ and Bayard Construction successfully navigated Critical Area requirements, receiving nine variances for the demo and rebuild of the home and accompanying concrete storage building. The main level of the 20’ wide home provides a one car garage, entry foyer, powder room and combined kitchen/living room with grand views over the Severn. A seating peninsula divides the living area from the modern kitchen while supplementing storage needs. Creating meals with top-of-the-line appliances like the induction cooktop satisfies taste buds as the large sliding windows welcome the river breeze. Ample and distinctive LED lighting fixtures accent the various task areas when natural daylight is not filling the space.

Material selections reflect a sustainable awareness while providing upscale comfort. Unifying the living spaces throughout the main level, stairway and through the rest of the home are richly toned Bamboo floors. The stairway along the northern wall exhibits discerning craftsmanship and reflects the deep floor tones through the railings and crisply presented caps. Subtle squares recessed in the stringer ascend and are met by generously recessed storage cubbies. Every inch of space counts in this compact home.

Upstairs, one is greeted by a two-story bank of windows overlooking the street that allows the setting sun to fill the home with exquisite light. The first of two bedrooms appears to the south and is followed by a full bath accessed from the hallway. The stacked washer/dryer are tucked into a closet conveniently located outside of the owner’s suite that embraces the eastern river view and private balcony.

With such a limiting footprint feasible on the thirty foot wide lot, visitors are pleasantly surprised as the outdoor living unfolds. The kitchen/living area leads to waterfront dining and socializing. From here, terraces of native plantings with Smart Slope retaining walls are revealed. Beautiful raingardens filter all rainwater that falls onto the home’s standing seam metal roof, creating a natural hydrological cycle.

Ipe caps and stainless steel cable rails provide virtually unrestricted views from multiple levels of durable Ipe decking. Below the terraces, one is offered an even closer respite with the waterfront. Here, you are surrounded by native vegetation in the planted roof areas which softens the hardscape, witnessing the river breezes.

The strategic stone hardscape does not stop there. A northern stairway accesses the dock and pier. Grounding this entire experience and providing yet another purposeful space is a 14’x24’ stone bunker (formerly a well house). The 10’ wide movable NanaWall system of this true ‘Man Cave’ opens onto the dock, maximizing waterfront storage and providing an oasis on hot summer days.

‘Riverside’ is a stunningly creative use of a tiny waterfront hillside that provides a deceptively grand experience. Environmentally sensitive design and superb craftsmanship demonstrate a truly classic home to be enjoyed for years to come.

Renderings Provided by McHale Landscape Design.

General Contractor/Project Manager- Bayard Construction.

Photos by Kevin Wilson Photography.