Nestled into an old brick warehouse building in the heart of Red Hook, the large mahogany entrance doors are at the back of an active woodshop. Not your typical New York apartment but the perfect city home for a couple of makers who want to actively weave work and family life under one roof.
To bring natural light and air into a space with no windows, we installed three large operable skylights and designed the apartment as series of lightwells clustered around a central stair tower. A jalousie door with louvered glass at the top of the stair further brings light and air into the space. Upper level walkways and bedrooms all have large openings which look into the lightwells and space below. Along the sides of the sculptural stair tower, daily light show washes angled walls and intersecting volumes.
With a 30 foot wide footprint and massive 2-foot deep I-beams carrying the existing mezzanine column-free, we kept the ground level as open as possible, allowing for open circulation and the ability to freely reconfigure the living space over time. The upper level rooms all have internal windows which form courtyard-like spaces around the lightwells. Pocket doors between the rooms can be entirely tucked into the walls to create an openness and free flow, like the living space on the ground level.
As a design/build project, we were able to quickly complete the project within a few months, limiting the quantity of drawings and communications between architect and builder, and allowing for an overlap between design work and construction. As such, several of the major design moves were decided a few weeks into construction, after having the opportunity to get to know the building and size up the space in person.