Designed by CetraRuddy for JDS Development Group, the new 60-unit complex called Saltmeadow in Far Rockaway, Queens, offers a departure for the global architecture firm that specializes in iconic high-rise residential buildings, yet Saltmeadow embodies key principles of the firm including a design that engages its context while incorporating crafted details and an innovative use of materials and planning that reinforces community. The neighborhood-making arrangement of 30 two-family townhouse structures offers modern two – and three – bedroom homes near the sandy beaches and the newly reconstructed boardwalk on Rockaway Beach.
“Far Rockaway is one of New York‘s most unique settings, with a burgeoning arts scene and sense of community that draws life from the water,” says CetraRuddy cofounder and design principal John Cetra, FAIA, a noted national leader in multifamily architecture. “The Saltmeadow townhouses contribute essential new housing to this community, helping its rebirth with an innovative and unique way of living — modern, functional, and responsive to the history and context with a new and interesting approach. Working with JDS, we’re setting a higher standard for future growth here.”
Set within the flood zone affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, CetraRuddy‘s resilient architectural design protects against storms and flooding, allowing residents to rebound from extreme events in the future. All habitable spaces and electrical closets are built above the base flood elevation, while ground floors are laid out as storage, garage and unfinished areas. Materials are selected with both durability and beauty in mind. The ground floor façade of the buildings is clad in a stone base of quartzite and sedimentary rock, echoing the jetties of the Rockaway shoreline. Locally-quarried bluestone slabs are used in accent trims and the entry stairs. Accent walls of beveled Western red cedar planks and weathered zinc light fixtures provide additional warmth at the townhouse entries.
Taking advantage of its famed waterfront location, all homes feature outdoor space and windows oriented to maximize water views. Inside, limed oak flooring, stone-lined showers, and decorative glass pendants offer a crafted, modern feel that befits a neighborhood home to luminaries such as Patti Smith and Tom Sachs, yet also references classic beachfront aesthetics. Kitchens feature stone countertops and continuous match veneer cabinetry, with appliances by Liebherr and Fisher & Paykel.