Located on a highly visible corner of Brooklyn's Park Slope Historic District, this project offered rare possibilities for access, light, view, and massing unavailable to midblock houses - but, in return, invited close scrutiny by a community that guards its architectural character vigilantly and is skeptical of modernity.
To reallocate space, wedges were sliced away from each building. The sum of the reductions was added adjacent to the kitchen, where more family space was most needed. The new massing maintained the total floor area while increasing yard area by 200 sf. By reducing the south street walls of both buildings, both the community and family experience more sky, view, and light.
The garden floor contains family arrival areas, recreation room, and guest suite. A sculptural stair unites this floor with the living, dining, and kitchen spaces above, fostering communication between the spaces. The new stair's double height space became an opportunity to display a 12'x12' composition of 4 paintings, which were previously not viewable together.
To accomplish the indoor/outdoor relationship the family sought, the angled faces of the lower floors of the main house and the studio above the garage were fully glazed with Passive-certified assemblies. Glass slats manage solar heat gain and maintain privacy. The various views out of and back into their own home intrigued and excited the family and design team.