Heritage Sands: 2017 BALA Community of the Year
Architect/Designer: Union Studio Architecture & Community Design
Builder: KBS Homes
Heritage Sands is Cape Cod’s first new oceanfront cottage community in more than 50 years. The eight-acre site was formerly a seasonal trailer park that hosted 150 recreational vehicles and 15 cottages on cement slabs. The developers harnessed the opportunity to work within Cape Cod’s seasonal cottage zoning ordinance to create an elegant, high-density cottage community reminiscent of the Cape’s historic seasonal neighborhoods. The Cape has a rich history of summer communities populated by families returning year after year. This tradition began with tent sites and evolved over time to dense cottage neighborhoods, a land plan vernacular that was unique to the Cape. The development team endeavored to use this unique model, instead of carving the site up into a handful of luxury waterfront “trophy homes.” The goal was to leverage technological developments such as modular homebuilding, energy efficiency, and stormwater compliance with tried-and-true strategies for traditional neighborhood design, including ample front porches and shared common space.
The result is a highly unique community that has a rich sense of place. Cottages are clustered around common greens to create “pocket neighborhoods,” and crushed shell paths wind down to over 600 feet of private beach. A community clubhouse and pool are available to host larger family functions or a quick workout. The interiors were designed to maximize the small footprints of each of the ten cottage prototypes in this neighborhood of 63 homes. Homes range in size from 900 to 1,350 square feet. The one-and-a-half story compact floor plans combine tall, lofty ceilings with smaller private rooms. The design intent was to achieve an upscale, but relaxed, feel through simple craftsmanship. In an effort to deliver exceptional quality, minimize site impacts and limit disturbance to residents, the team used off-site modular production for the homes.
Judges’ Comments: “A strong sense of community . . . there is connectivity of the houses to each other and to the water.”