River Road Residence
Floating on the River
New Hope, PA

Project Type

In the spring of 2015, the client hired the architect to help find a suitable home site along the Delaware River in Bucks County. The working couple with two school-age children were looking to fulfil their dream of living on the water and leaving the noise of the city behind. They settled on a property where a three-story, 1930’s-era house stood facing the river. The seven-plus-acre site lies flat and is bordered by the river to the southeast and the Delaware Canal to the northwest.

Maintaining Footprint


Due to flooding along the Delaware over the last fifteen years, a building moratorium had been put in place and a flood plain and would therefore require multiple variances, but there was another option: a new structure would be permitted, providing it conformed to the existing building footprint, or 900 square feet.

Floating House


Two years later, the floating house broke ground. The open plan was designed to have kaleidoscopic views throughout all of the spaces. A nine-hundred-square-foot, two-story, cast-in-place concrete entrance foyer with winding stair and elevator occupies the center of the plan: it is the only part of the building design that actually touches the ground.