Harlem Renaissance

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photos by:
June 2, 2009
Originally published in Groundbreaking Ideas in Home Design
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  • 
  Yvette Leeper-Bueno and Adrian Bueno’s home, on West 112th Street, is recognizable by its two-story bay window angled to bring light and views into the dark, narrow structure.
    Yvette Leeper-Bueno and Adrian Bueno’s home, on West 112th Street, is recognizable by its two-story bay window angled to bring light and views into the dark, narrow structure.
  • 
  “There’s a threshold of planting between the outside and inside,” says architect Laura Briggs, citing the blooming boxes on the sidewalk, the rear deck, and the master-suite terrace (above the bay window).
    “There’s a threshold of planting between the outside and inside,” says architect Laura Briggs, citing the blooming boxes on the sidewalk, the rear deck, and the master-suite terrace (above the bay window).
  • 
  In the kitchen, the architects contrasted the oak floor, bamboo cabinetry, and birch walls and ceiling with what architect Jonathan Knowles calls “a family of grays”: granite floor tiles, limestone countertops, and the steel stairway. The birch wall behind Yvette is actually the sliding door to the pantry closet.
    In the kitchen, the architects contrasted the oak floor, bamboo cabinetry, and birch walls and ceiling with what architect Jonathan Knowles calls “a family of grays”: granite floor tiles, limestone countertops, and the steel stairway. The birch wall behind Yvette is actually the sliding door to the pantry closet.
  • 
  The view from the front door toward the rear of the house, through the kitchen to the stairway.
    The view from the front door toward the rear of the house, through the kitchen to the stairway.
  • 
  In one of the children’s bedrooms, the apparently slanting line of Sheetrock above the view “straightens out,” falling into alignment with the top of the window, as one moves closer to it.
    In one of the children’s bedrooms, the apparently slanting line of Sheetrock above the view “straightens out,” falling into alignment with the top of the window, as one moves closer to it.
  • 
  In the living room, the floor slopes up to meet the glass within the bay window. Both gestures are designed to draw the family toward the light and views.
    In the living room, the floor slopes up to meet the glass within the bay window. Both gestures are designed to draw the family toward the light and views.
  • 
  Seemingly a single, seamless unit, the stair is composed of two elements—treads and mezzanine—and held in place by two distinct strategies: The stairs are welded to, and cantilever out from, a series of steel tubes concealed in the walls; the mezzanine 
is attached on one side to a steel beam, and hung at two other points from rods attached to the roof structure.
    Seemingly a single, seamless unit, the stair is composed of two elements—treads and mezzanine—and held in place by two distinct strategies: The stairs are welded to, and cantilever out from, a series of steel tubes concealed in the walls; the mezzanine is attached on one side to a steel beam, and hung at two other points from rods attached to the roof structure.
  • 
  The house’s 38-foot-high rear wall conceals the two-story stair.
    The house’s 38-foot-high rear wall conceals the two-story stair.
  • 
  Clear glass panes set strategically into the otherwise translucent curtain wall expose the mezzanine to fresh air and rear views.
    Clear glass panes set strategically into the otherwise translucent curtain wall expose the mezzanine to fresh air and rear views.
  • 
  Sliding panels open the hot tub to the master bedroom. The architects designed the 
passive-solar house to collect heat in winter and screen it out in the hot months, and installed an energy-efficient radiant heating/cooling system in the floors.
    Sliding panels open the hot tub to the master bedroom. The architects designed the passive-solar house to collect heat in winter and screen it out in the hot months, and installed an energy-efficient radiant heating/cooling system in the floors.
  • 
  Yvette, Adrian, and their son Julian survey the view from the top-floor terrace. “I’ve never been fond of modernism—I find it cold,” Adrian admits. “But having this house, I have 
to say, it’s growing on me.”
    Yvette, Adrian, and their son Julian survey the view from the top-floor terrace. “I’ve never been fond of modernism—I find it cold,” Adrian admits. “But having this house, I have to say, it’s growing on me.”
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