The Bed-Stuy townhouse has been redesigned for the 21st century through a new, contemporary architectural strategy, also by a Brooklyn-based architecture studio. The project, which includes a gut renovation, a modern rear extension, and complete interior decorating by the collaborative gallery, design studio and strategy firm Colony, is located in the historic Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, in Brooklyn, New York. Now, the estate of that period has been brought into the present through exquisite details, elaborate interiors and simple nods to architecture.
Bed-Stuy Home Renovation: Balancing Historic and Contemporary Architecture
The project consists of the main house and garden of a 2,625-square-foot, three-story townhouse originally built in 1881. He also led the office, which is headed by founder Evan Erlebacher, whose previous projects include the charming interior of the Minor Rose hair salon in Gramercy. Park, a balanced transformation that celebrates the past, while modifying the property to suit the current needs of the clients – a local gallery owner and musician.
‘The first principle that launched everything was the client’s desire to unify the house and garden. We worked from there, designing a seamless connection between the master bedroom and the garden, creating a terrace overlooking the garden, and of course by designing the garden itself. Additionally, there were a lot of practical needs to consider, such as reorganizing the house to include new bedrooms and bathrooms, and rehabilitating the old house in general,” Erlebacher says.
A new single-storey rear addition and a new ground-level garden design (the latter created by specialist firm Deep Earth) are at the heart of the new design. The building consists of a master bedroom suite and a sunroom clad in white oak, both connected to the outdoors by direct sightlines and an oversized sliding glass door.
Above it, a new balcony has been created, accessible not only from the inside but also via a newly crafted circular staircase made of custom-made black perforated steel. It creates a clear juxtaposition with the simple, clean lines of the light-colored addition and the lush character of the garden.
“The rear addition is the most important piece of the project because it unites the different floors and the garden. Above, on the parlor floor, are the terrace and the garden staircase. Below, at the garden level, a jewel box houses a sunroom that connects the ground floor to the garden,” says Erlebacher. A threshold area that is part of the house and part of the garden.”
In the original building, the existing design has been maintained but the details have been updated to contemporary standards and a new atmosphere has been created in collaboration with the Colony’s own furniture and product scheme. “The narrative of this historic home is elevated by how the office has also approached its contemporary renovation.” “As collaborators on the project, we were drawn to the thread of time throughout the space, and wanted to play a role in unraveling it in the present moment,” says Jan Lin, founder of Colony (which also designed the interiors of a model apartment in Essex Crossing, New York City).
Lin continues: “We kept the furnishings minimal and low-key at the floor level to accompany the aesthetics of the spare space. At the historic salon level, we focused on an eclectic mix of vintage and contemporary pieces to work alongside restored historic charm and contemporary architectural updates. The Camaleonda sofa allows “Double-sided construction creates a better flow between the living and dining rooms; something well-suited to the informal gatherings that the homeowner regularly hosts. Overall, the conceptual essence was to bring “a refined sense of experimentation to the interiors.”
The gentle architectural restoration of architectural features and the selective and deliberate exposure of areas of the old building fabric add layers of history and texture to the whole. “I think it’s interesting that this project is not a complete gut renovation,” the architect concludes. “I like that there are parts of the project that are very contemporary and subtle, and then other parts that are almost 150 years old and our design was only slightly affected by them. This tension brings life back.” To the entire house.