When architect Robert Gurney’s team took on the renovation of a rotting waterfront home in St. Michaels, Maryland, it faced some difficult restrictions. Because it was located within a buffer zone on Solitude Creek, it had to either be moved farther from the shoreline or updated to meet new zoning, building, and environmental code requirements. The solution? “It was decided to remove the existing structure to the foundation, increase the height of the foundation two feet, and build a new structure above this that would meet all of the new codes, ordinances and regulations,” the architects wrote on Architect magazine’s project gallery.

The designers navigated another challenge — no access to natural gas — with the help of propane, which powers the main living area’s modern see-through fireplace, a cooktop in the kitchen, and a backup furnace. The stunning project photos show that navigating these challenges resulted in a rewarding, and beautiful, waterfront home.

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The House on Solitude Creek has a main living area that features a modern see-through propane fireplace. Credit: Anice Hoachlander/Hoachlander Davis Photography.

With natural gas unavailable in the waterfront site, the kitchen cooktop and the home’s backup furnace are fueled by propane. Credit: Anice Hoachlander/Hoachlander Davis Photography.

Architect Robert Gurney navigated site restrictions by removing the site’s existing structure to the foundation and building a new structure that would meet new codes, ordinances, and regulations. Credit: Anice Hoachlander/Hoachlander Davis Photography.