From batliboi studio / architecture + design
Private residence for family of four with 2 young kids.
Owner’s triplex (~2,700 sf) above a Rental apartment (~900 sf) that also serves as an in-law suite for extended family visits.
Gut renovation of an abandoned brownstone in a Landmark (historic) district in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY
A 100+ year old abandoned brownstone was rehabilitated from foreclosure into a vibrant and light-filled home for a young family in a rapidly changing neighborhood. The renovation maintained many of the home’s original details, while adding contemporary details and finishes. An open floor plan is a modern counterpoint to the original division of the main living space on the parlor floor, while an efficient layout at the garden level creates a full 2-bed/ 1-bath rental apartment.
The main parlor floor layout inverts the traditional brownstone parlor configuration by locating the dining area at the front and the living space at the rear. Interior and exterior living spaces are melded together by way of a 14’ wide folding glass door opening onto a new rear deck. The main kitchen employs walnut cabinetry, which complements the original wood moldings and trim that were stripped of layers of old paint and refinished to their natural color. New millwork details and hardware deploy clean, simple lines to contrast against the intricacy of historic details, without overwhelming the original details. The original fireplaces were stripped, restored, re-set; and the new kitchen backsplash of hand-blown glass tile accentuates the original tile on the fireplace.
On the second floor, the plan maintains the original 1/3-2/3rd split layout typical to these brownstones, while creatively opening up the smaller rooms to the larger, maximizing natural light and circulation. Full-height openings between spaces and 8’-tall doors create the illusion of more space and light in the central portion of the floorplate. The third floor plan uses sliding doors to maximize flexibility of space and use between a guest bedroom, family room and utility/ laundry area. The original pine subfloors were revealed and re-purposed as finished floors on the upper 2 levels, both as a cost-savings measure and a nod to the history of the home. Continued but controlled use of color and fabric brings a warm touch to the modern aesthetic, drawing on the family’s own cultural identity as immigrants and first-generation American children.
By strategically maintaining certain existing elements, while also adapting to the life of a contemporary family, the home eschews the “either/ or” paradigm of renovating a historic brownstone in favor of an “and/ also” approach that maintains a continuing dialogue of point and counterpoint between new and old, contemporary and historic, exterior and interior.