Located in the Prospect Heights Historic District of Brooklyn, this late 19th century structure was suffering from old age and a general lack of upkeep. To convert the aging building into a modern, single-family home, CWB completed a gut renovation that included a garden-level rental unit. Although mostly new materials and finishes, many details original to the house were salvaged, restored and then integrated into the home's contemporary aesthetic.
Sunlight finds its way into almost every corner of the home through strategically placed skylights and an interior light well. The wood floor in the stair hall, typically the darkest space in a rowhouse, was replaced with walkable glass panels, transforming the space into a tower that diffuses light rather than absorbing it. The effect is replicated from the parlor floor up, terminating in a ceiling punched with two skylights specifically designed to bounce light down into the spaces below. The master bathroom is illuminated by the interior light well which spans 2 stories up to the roof. A sunroom extension benefits from direct southern exposure through a restored bay window and new skylight.
In addition to their taste for modern architecture, the owners are inclined toward architecture that is also environmentally friendly. To help reduce the carbon footprint, a new green roof was installed at the extension in addition to a 4.5 kW solar PV array at the main roof. This system reduces the electrical load by up to 80% over the course of the year.
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
3362 sf (Owner’s Unit) 1226 sf (Tenant Apt)
Janelle Gunther, Jean-Luc Torchon
Francis Dzikowski / OTTO, with styling by Brice Gaillard