Our approach to this project was spurred by ideas of daylight, visual connection between inside and out, and the intersection between digital and handcrafted processes.
The focus on the intersection between digital and handmade is most evident at the stone wall at the kitchen and the double oculi in the attic. Both were designed using precise 3D computer modeling, and then constructed with age old stone and plastering techniques.
Our biggest challenge, to flood the house with light, was solved with the two large, intersecting oculi. One of the major shortfalls of the brownstone typology is that very little daylight reaches the center of the building. A typical response to this limitation is to place program at the center that does not require natural light, such as closets and bathrooms. We inverted this standard practice, bringing daylight through the heart of this historic brownstone. Inspired by Noguchi, two elliptical oculi fill the attic space. Light floods through this space and down the stairs, joining the light filtering through the foyer and the large glazed openings at the rear.