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The Art and Science of Coastal Building with Architects Challenge Showdown Winner Lian Eoyang

By Sam Tuttle, Marvin Windows March 2, 2015

Today marks the start of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, an initiative that encourages people to understand risks and take actions before, during and after extreme weather events. Preparedness can mean small things like having supply kits and weather radios on hand, but it also means thoughtful building practices and using products you can trust to withstand the harshest of weather conditions.

Despite the beautiful views and inspired architecture of coastal homes, natural disasters like Nor’easters, tropical storms and hurricanes can take a toll. We talked to an expert on the subject, Lian Eoyang of ViF Studio, about how coastal building can stand up to the elements while maintaining the beautiful, luxurious look you can expect from Marvin windows.

What considerations did you have to keep in mind when picking windows for coastal regions?

LE: With the Summer Cottage project, the site was right near the coastline, so we wanted to make sure the windows could withstand the heavy winter storms. The Marvin products are so lovely because they are super high performing, but to the normal consumer they are still very elegant. I just heard back from the homeowner, and they haven’t had issues with the windows even through this especially harsh winter.

Has your approach to design in coastal regions changed over time? 

LE: As of late, we are taking FEMA requirements into greater account. A current topic in coastal regions is flood zones shifting, so the durability of the overall assembly of a project is on designers and clients’ minds.

What should coastal homeowners keep in mind when selecting a designer and ensuring their vision is met?

LE: Clear communication and an understanding of the client’s needs are very important. It’s critical to have confidence that both the client and designer understand the needs, desires and constraints of the project. It’s extremely important for the designer and homeowner to have alignment in their goals.

An owner may want the biggest window possible in a bedroom or the smallest sightline possible, but it’s not a reality due to certain requirements. As designers, we really help litigate between the design hopes and building requirements that owners may not know about.

New England is very rich in history and has a distinct architectural style. How do you stay true to its heritage while also incorporating today’s home trends?

LE: We wanted to be respectful of the community, but also wanted to incorporate more modern ideas like big views and unobstructed glass. In the living room, we wanted to have expansive views of the harbor and city, which created an indoor/outdoor feel because the views were so gorgeous. We used Marvin gliders in order to give that expansive feeling but still maintain that traditional look on the outside.

Why did you choose Marvin windows and doors for your project? Were there any particular products that influenced your plans for the residence?

LE: We were looking at a wide variety of brands and products for this project but were so enticed by Marvin’s production line. They can get the products on the road quickly, are reliable, have an amazing warranty and the price point was so attractive. In addition, with the wide variety of finishes, we were able to achieve a look that was closely aligned with our design intent. I think it was the overall package with Marvin that we were really pleased with.

Learn more about the Summer Cottage along with the Marvin products that helped bring the project to life here.

Lian Eoyang was the winner of the 2014 Marvin Architects Challenge Showdown for her Summer Cottage in New England.