Crown Heights Row House

When we found this Crown Heights row house, its collapsing floors were unrentable.  (So the seller was using it as a dog kennel.)  But even before its decline, it suffered from common row house ailments: dark in the middle and spatially flat.

We solved both problems by carving out the center of the house. The resulting void is a double-height dining room. Daylight pours down from from a long slot of a skylight.  Its shape collects winter sunshine while shading out summer heat gain.

As a compositional foil to the void, a two-story pylon wrapped in copper serves multiple functions.  It’s a coat closet, an alcove shoe bench, a storage cabinet, and a privacy screen for the foyer.

We arrayed the rooms on both floors around the sunny dining room, with a catwalk above connecting the bedrooms.  To diffuse the daylight, one bedroom wall is just open shelving.  The other, corrugated polycarbonate.

Project Info

Crown Heights, Brooklyn
2,500 s.f.
Year Complete
General Contractor
Ave C Construction
Scott Schnall, P.E.
Catherine Tighe, Hulya Kolabas