Waterfront Architectural Design

Construction projects in waterfront locations require a special way of approaching the design. Though these projects share a number of design sensibilities that are applied to non-waterfront construction, there are other significant issues that must be taken into consideration. From our inception, Fox Architectural Design has focused on various types of waterfront projects located on lakes, rivers, and the shore.

A waterfront project always has two front facades: one at the street and one facing the water. Both are important and both have different relationships between the inside and the outside. Depending on the location the land might be steep, narrow, or both. These conditions require careful blending of the structure into the landscape and may require unique structural solutions. Highlighting and accentuating views of the water also determine how designs develop.

These are only a few ideas to keep in mind. Contact us and we can help you make your waterfront ideas become reality.


Scroll down to view some sample waterfront projects...


Potential Permits and Regulations Required

Highlands Exemptions

In northern New Jersey areas designated as Highlands Preservation Zones require special permits to allow construction. Formal submissions must clearly demonstrate conformance with specific criteria to obtain approval to construct in these areas.

Flood Hazard Area Permits

State review and approval is required for projects that are located near bodies of water, are within Riparian Zones, or are located within designated floodplains as defined by FEMA. Depending on the classifications, there are various factors that the building design must accommodate.

Freshwater Wetlands Permits

Areas that may include freshwater wetlands require a formal study to determine their presence and to evaluate their environmental significance. Submittals are then sent to the state to verify if they agree with the study. Wetland areas also often are surrounded by buffer zones that require special permits to disturb.

CAFRA Permits

The Coastal Area Facility Review Act provides added protection for construction in sensitive coastal areas. Disturbances in close proximity to shorelines require the submittal of state applications showing how the project complies with the permit rules, or how it is exempted from those rules.

Army Corp Nationwide Permits

For construction projects that are adjacent to the Hudson River, various permits and reviews are required depending on the scope and nature of the project.


It is important to understand that your project may require navigating one or more of the above regulatory paths depending on the project scale, location, and surrounding features.


Sample Waterfront Projects

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Lake Hopatcong Marine

Location: Township of Jefferson, New Jersey

Type: New Construction and Site Plan

Info: A new marina showroom and boat service building is proposed for a steeply sloping site on Lake Hopatcong

#04059

Location: Landing (Roxbury Township), New Jersey

Type: New Sun Trellises

Info: A pair of new trellises were added to this home on a prominent site on Lake Hopatcong.

#08067

Location: Lake Hopatcong (Jefferson Township), New Jersey

Type: Tear-down and Rebuild (fire reconstruction)

Info: An existing lakefront home with a prominent view of the lake was lost in a fire and subsequently redesigned and rebuilt.

#05120

Location: Lake Hopatcong (Jefferson Township), New Jersey

Type: New Construction

Info: A new lakefront home was designed for a narrow and steeply sloping site creating a detailed and grand home.

#02030

Location: Barnegat Bay, Mantoloking (Brick Township), New Jersey

Type: Tear-down and Rebuild

Info: A cramped bayside home was demolished to make way for a grand new house with light-and-airy spaces throughout.

#13079

Location: Lake Hopatcong (Jefferson Township), New Jersey

Type: Lakefront Addition and Alteration

Info: Two neighboring houses on Lake Hopatcong are combined into a single larger custom home.

#00146

Location: Little Swartswood Lake, New Jersey

Type: Tear-down and Rebuild

Info: A new home required the use of the same footprint as the replaced house to satisfy the design requirements for this lakefront property.

#04019

Location: Landing (Roxbury Township), New Jersey

Type: Tear-down and Rebuild

Info: A small lakefront ranch was converted to a cottage style home matching the charm and character of the community.

#94017

Location: Landing (Roxbury Township), New Jersey

Type: Lakefront Addition and Alteration

Info: An addition and renovation was designed for an existing simple lakefront home that transformed it into a stately Victorian dwelling.

#08036

Location: Lake Hopatcong (Jefferson Township), New Jersey

Type: Lakefront Addition and Alteration

Info: An existing lakefront home lacked an interesting and well designed front as viewed from the street.

#03013

Location: Green Pond (Rockaway Township), New Jersey

Type: Tear-down and Rebuild

Info: An existing house was torn down to allow for a new updated home right on the lake.

#02075

Location: Green Pond (Rockaway Township), New Jersey

Type: Tear-down and Rebuild

Info: A new lake home with as much square footage as possible was designed while creating interesting facades.

#99118

Location: Green Pond (Rockaway Township), New Jersey

Type: New Construction

Info: A new Adirondack style summer home was created on a site with an old summer cottage.

#04087

Location: Lake Keowee, South Carolina

Type: New Construction

Info: Key site placement of house provided as many interior rooms as possible with views toward the lake.

#98181

Location: Green Pond (Rockaway Township), New Jersey

Type: New Residence

Info: A new French Villa style home with stucco finishes, wrought iron detailing, custom wood shutters, and natural stone accents.

#01009

Location: Green Pond (Rockaway Township), New Jersey

Type: Tear-down and Rebuild

Info: A new home required the use of the same footprint as the replaced house to satisfy the design requirements for this lakefront property.

#03124

Location: Green Pond (Rockaway Township), New Jersey

Type: Tear-down and Rebuild

Info: A new home on a small lot required the use of the same footprint as the replaced house to satisfy the design requirements for this lakefront property.

#92012

Location: Jefferson Township, New Jersey

Type: Lakefront Addition and Alteration

Info: An extensive renovation and addition changed a simple and modest structure into a grand lakefront home with modern forms and details.

#99043

Location: Mount Arlington Borough, New Jersey

Type: Lakefront Addition and Renovation

Info: A new upper level addition and renovations throughout the home help to improve this property�s lake presence while providing generous lake views from the interior spaces.

#97153&99158

Location: Lake Mohawk (Sparta Township), New Jersey

Type: Lakefront Addition and Alteration

Info: Two separate additions undertaken a couple years apart created a new lakefront fa�ade and street fa�ade to give the home an updated lake aesthetic.

#02105

Location: Green Pond (Rockaway Township), New Jersey

Type: Lakefront Addition and Renovation

Info: An outdated lake home was given a complete makeover to create an imaginative and updated new home.

#00121

Location: Green Pond (Rockaway Township), New Jersey

Type: Lakefront Addition and Alteration

Info: Dramatic improvements were made without changing the layout of the existing main roof line.

#05121

Location: Lake Shawnee (Jefferson Township), New Jersey

Type: Lakefront Addition and Alteration

Info: An existing ranch style home on the tip of a peninsula on the lake was transformed to a unique structure with a new upper level.

#97154

Location: Green Pond (Rockaway Township), New Jersey

Type: Lakefront Addition and Renovation

Info: The existing roof was removed and reconstructed to expand the second floor bedrooms.

#99074

Location: Green Pond (Rockaway Township), New Jersey

Type: Lakefront Addition and Renovation

Info: Over time, an original custom design fell short of the required space needed by the owner. An addition was designed to look like it had always been there.

Lake Silver Springs

Location: Kenvil (Roxbury Township), New Jersey

Type: Lakefront Addition and Alteration

Info: Adjacent to the lake, the existing bathhouse and storage building received a two-story addition to create a home for the owners.

#00036

Location: Green Pond (Rockaway Township), New Jersey

Type: Lakefront Addition and Renovation

Info: The property value increased immensely with this state of the art addition and renovation to an older lake cottage.

#03064

Location: Green Pond (Rockaway Township), New Jersey

Type: Lakefront Addition and Renovation

Info: An outdated lake house was converted into a full time residence.