Brooklyn Brownstone

Brooklyn, NY

2007

The renovation of this five-story, mid-nineteenth-century, Gothic Revival residence in Brooklyn Heights navigates three important connections: historic and contemporary design sensibilities, interior and exterior thresholds, and familial and personal spaces. The front façade was restored, enhancing its historic significance within the neighborhood, while a new glass and aluminum façade at the back of the house creates a more open and contemporary feeling. Inside, the house is designed to fit the needs of the family. Home office space, rooms for two children, and a fifth-floor playroom are all elements of this functional, comfortable, and stylish home.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO

Brooklyn Brownstone

Brooklyn, NY

2007

The house is one of three contiguous, 30-foot-wide Gothic Revival brownstones with identical facades built by the founder of Brooklyn White Lead Company (which later became Dutch Boy Paints) in the 1840s. All windows on the front façade were replaced with new wood, double-hung windows to match the original. Working with the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Brooklyn Heights Association, we redesigned the front yard with new bluestone paving and planting.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO

The rear façade and two-story extension were designed to allow an abundance of natural light to enter the building. The new facade is primarily composed of floor-to-ceiling glass windows and sliding glass doors in combination with limestone cladding.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO
©Peter Aaron/OTTO
©Peter Aaron/OTTO

Travertine tiles in the study resemble and create visual continuity with the cobblestone garden, blurring the boundaries between the interior and the exterior spaces. Hot water radiant heating is discreetly concealed within the stone floor.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO

A new staircase connecting the garden level and first floor is a modern interpretation of the existing Gothic stairs connecting the upper floors.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO
©Peter Aaron/OTTO

The cast-resin and patinated-steel dining room table was designed by 1100 Architect.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO
©Peter Aaron/OTTO
©Peter Aaron/OTTO
©Peter Aaron/OTTO

Many of the original architectural details were kept and restored, including the nineteenth-century plaster moldings, window casings, fireplace surrounds and mantels. The existing oak floor with mahogany border inlays was retained, repaired, and refinished. These features are contrasted with contemporary elements, such as a new wall of glass in the master bedroom and a cast-resin sink in the master bathroom.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO

Using green roof technology, a private garden accessible from the master bedroom creates a small, personal outdoor space.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO
©Peter Aaron/OTTO

Publications

Goodman, Wendy. “Home at Last.” City Modern / Dwell and New York, October 2012. 

Lind, Diana. Brooklyn Modern. New York: Rizzoli, 2008.

“Rooms of Their Own.” Architectural Digest, December 2007.

Aronson, Steven M. L. “Let There Be More Light.” Architectural Digest, October 2007. 

Magill, Mollie. “Resin.” Hamptons Cottages and Gardens, August 1, 2007.

Similar Projects

©Peter Aaron/OTTO

Brooklyn Brownstone

Brooklyn, NY

2007

©Peter Aaron/OTTO

The renovation of this five-story, mid-nineteenth-century, Gothic Revival residence in Brooklyn Heights navigates three important connections: historic and contemporary design sensibilities, interior and exterior thresholds, and familial and personal spaces. The front façade was restored, enhancing its historic significance within the neighborhood, while a new glass and aluminum façade at the back of the house creates a more open and contemporary feeling. Inside, the house is designed to fit the needs of the family. Home office space, rooms for two children, and a fifth-floor playroom are all elements of this functional, comfortable, and stylish home.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO

The house is one of three contiguous, 30-foot-wide Gothic Revival brownstones with identical facades built by the founder of Brooklyn White Lead Company (which later became Dutch Boy Paints) in the 1840s. All windows on the front façade were replaced with new wood, double-hung windows to match the original. Working with the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Brooklyn Heights Association, we redesigned the front yard with new bluestone paving and planting.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO

The rear façade and two-story extension were designed to allow an abundance of natural light to enter the building. The new facade is primarily composed of floor-to-ceiling glass windows and sliding glass doors in combination with limestone cladding.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO
©Peter Aaron/OTTO
©Peter Aaron/OTTO

Travertine tiles in the study resemble and create visual continuity with the cobblestone garden, blurring the boundaries between the interior and the exterior spaces. Hot water radiant heating is discreetly concealed within the stone floor.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO

A new staircase connecting the garden level and first floor is a modern interpretation of the existing Gothic stairs connecting the upper floors.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO
©Peter Aaron/OTTO

The cast-resin and patinated-steel dining room table was designed by 1100 Architect.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO
©Peter Aaron/OTTO
©Peter Aaron/OTTO
©Peter Aaron/OTTO

Many of the original architectural details were kept and restored, including the nineteenth-century plaster moldings, window casings, fireplace surrounds and mantels. The existing oak floor with mahogany border inlays was retained, repaired, and refinished. These features are contrasted with contemporary elements, such as a new wall of glass in the master bedroom and a cast-resin sink in the master bathroom.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO

Using green roof technology, a private garden accessible from the master bedroom creates a small, personal outdoor space.

©Peter Aaron/OTTO
©Peter Aaron/OTTO

Publications

Goodman, Wendy. “Home at Last.” City Modern / Dwell and New York, October 2012. 

Lind, Diana. Brooklyn Modern. New York: Rizzoli, 2008.

“Rooms of Their Own.” Architectural Digest, December 2007.

Aronson, Steven M. L. “Let There Be More Light.” Architectural Digest, October 2007. 

Magill, Mollie. “Resin.” Hamptons Cottages and Gardens, August 1, 2007.

Similar Projects

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