Fusing indoor and outdoor space is a rare occurrence in places like New York City, where outside real estate rarely constitutes anything more than a 2 foot x 5 foot fire escape. So when the residents of this Brooklyn Heights townhouse moved into their new pad, they knew that their spacious backyard would have to be the star of their home. As such, the Brooklynites called upon Dean / Wolf Architects to take on the task of breathing new life into their townhouse, and by the looks of things, they couldn’t have chosen better. Instead of simply employing floor-to-ceiling windows to make the connection, the savvy architects designed an operable, puzzle-like rear facade that allows the home’s inhabitants to seamlessly join the indoors and the out with just a few turns of the wrist.
From the front, the home looks like a traditional Brooklyn townhouse with its characteristic red brick and black frame windows. Given the historic nature of the neighborhood, the owners and Dean / Wolf were keen on maintaining the original aesthetic on the exterior of the home, and efforts went into renovating the interiors and the rear.
The architects excavated the entire lower level of the townhouse, removing all of the servant spaces at the garden level and parlor floors. The boundary wall between the kitchen and the parlor was also removed to completely open up the area over the dining area–a move that also allows more light into even the darkest corners of the house.
Likewise, the boundary between the garden and the back of the house was removed by cutting several operable windows and doors into the face. The “floating” appearance of the glass when opened allows the visual/physical relationship between the garden and the house to fluctuate, and the unique shapes of the panes also act as spatial indicators that further fuse the inside and out.
Site-sensitive and stunning, this home has us green with envy for more than its verdant yard.
See more of Dean / Wolf’s work here.
Images courtesy of Dean / Wolf
Neighborhoods : Brooklyn Heights