BFDO Architects is no stranger to the innovative Brooklyn townhouse renovation. The firm brought their magic to this landmarked Fort Greene brownstone, purchased by a Hong Kong-based businessman who wanted a home that he, his wife and three adult children could comfortably stay in during his extended visits. BFDO modernized the interior, added new staircases, and utilized every inch of the house to personalize it for each member of the family.
The brownstone was reconfigured to accomidate three duplexes and a private suite for the owner and his wife. According to BFDO, the project “required the addition of three new stairs to connect the two floors in each unit and maintain a common access to the roof terrace, rear yard and cellar.” The firm also decided to utilize a deep blue color as an “organizing thread” throughout the common spaces and within the units. The deep blue entry doors open to a foyer with a blue handrail, that snakes up to the blue-fenced roof terrace, and the blue reappears in the railing and stairs accessing the back deck.
The oldest daughter, a restaurateur, lives on the parlor and second floors with her husband and child. The architect preserved the original ten-foot tall mahogany doors, which open to the living room. They added a wall of windows so the kitchen and dining room–where the family spends most of its time–looks out onto the blue rear deck. Inventively, an oak-clad, straight-run staircase forms a thick wall along the length of the floor, with the wall containing storage space and an oak-lined desk alcove. Up to the second floor, there’s a bedroom, bathroom and office in front, with a kid’s bedroom in back.
The youngest of the family, a food entrepreneur, lives on the third and fourth floors with his partner, an artist. They share the kitchen with his parents when they visit. The staircase leading to this section of the home is a painted, perforated steel that allows light to pass through it.
The fourth floor was lined with custom white oak shelves, with the idea to put clothing, personal items, and books all on display. Racks of gym equipment share space with a full wall of books, while the custom-made white oak platform bed and headboard is stacked with more books.
The upper floor leads to a scenic roof deck, which overlooks the landmark buildings of the neighborhood.
Finally, we are down to the basement duplex, covered in a wide plank white oak and occupied by the other daughter. A “wood volume” inserted into the middle of the floor plan provides storage and access to the lower level. A bench was added along the opening to the stair, which winds down to land in a wood-lined, walk-in closet.
The arched supports of the brownstone’s foundation were put to good use, as they frame openings into a study and bathroom enclosed by a pair of custom mahogany doors.
Be sure to check out a few more photos of this inventive configuration in the gallery below. And you can see more of BFDO’s Brooklyn townhouse renovations here.
- This Windsor Terrace townhouse reno by Barker Freeman was inspired by the owner’s love of books
- BFDO Architects renovated this Brooklyn rowhouse to capture light from every corner
- Williamsburg townhouse gets a ‘mullet’ reno with business in front and a party out back
Photos courtesy of Barker Freeman
Neighborhoods : Fort Greene