The Warren Mews Townhouse is a three story high, single family house recently renovated by Ensemble Architecture, located in the neighborhood of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, New York. This stunning eleven foot wide, 1,000 square foot home comes complete with a private garden and writer’s shed, perfect for one of the homeowner’s who is a music writer.
The house was selectively gutted and completely transformed to create a luxury home for a married couple and their growing family. The existing garden shed was replaced with a new structure that serves as a writer’s cottage in the garden.
To open up the rooms and bring in more light, the architects demolished a central staircase that was enclosed by walls, and replaced it with an open staircase edged in spindles. Illumination from an expansive new skylight now floods all three levels.
They reclaimed space by stripping away plaster to expose a brick party wall and the original wooden ceiling joists (while concealing electrical wiring by dropping the ceiling between joists in a few select areas).
In keeping with the period, the homeowner sourced vintage pieces like a salvaged bathtub and sink from the Demolition Depot, an antique marble fireplace mantel from Olde Good Things and blue-and-white Portuguese wall tile from Solar Antique Tiles.
The home was purchased for $1.3 million and the renovation cost the homeowners $550,000, to complete, making the two bedroom, two bathroom space seem bigger and brighter.
Photos: Courtesy of Ensemble Architecture
From the designer: A decade old town home looks to traditional elements to ground it in history. This fearless family yearned for a color infused, yet calming, fresh design all with the detail and nuance of a rarified turn of the century townhouse.
Vintage mantles, layered moldings, patterned wallpapers and colorful fabrics come together in this family friendly home. We nudged various walls slightly throughout the floor plan to provide for a more spacious feel. The challenge in the master bedroom was to create a luxurious closet space without visually compromising the size of the room.
Splitting the closet into three sections, we camouflaged the largest center walk-in closet behind padded screens. The other sections live behind antique mirrored French doors. The shoe closet is concealed behind a full length mirror and the ‘Love Art’ piece cleverly hides…well, it’s a secret.
While the master bath is of a classic design, the guest bath is a glossy tribute to old New York society. The kids bath, on the other hand, is a fun take on seaside, nautical chic.
In the basement we constructed a cozy family room replete with coffered woodgrain ceilings, an antique mantle and fun fabrics working together to host family fun. “Though it’s all newly created, it’s difficult to believe the details are not original.”
Photos: Donna Dotan
State Street Townhouse was designed in 2012 as a typical American family house but in an urban context by Ben Hansen Architect, located in Brooklyn, New York. This stunning four-story contemporary townhouse is comprised of 3,444 square feet (320 square meters) of living space, designed with specific family needs.
In many ways, the historic New York City townhouse is not compatible with a contemporary family’s way of life. The first and most important concept was to reinterpret the classic townhouse but customize it to the client’s request of having a join family space at the parlor level, where members of the family move fluidly between the kitchen, dining and living rooms; and have a visual and program connection with the rear courtyard; another interpretation of the typical American family house but in an urban context.
The rest of the floor levels were strictly defined by their own program and vertical circulations, allowing the most efficient way of space planning; and having as much natural light and ventilation as possible, especially in the core of the floor plate, which in the majority of historic townhouses are dark and unpleasant spaces.
While the design of the building is unquestionably contemporary, it relates to its classic NYC context as an abstract reinterpretation of the classic Brownstone Townhouse, from the materiality to the alignment of the facade elements. The front facade is pushed in and out to align with the neighboring building and the used of the classic steel and brick but with a strong contemporary language, that it’s consistent throughout the entire building, stands out in its immediate context.
The design of the exterior areas of the house were as important as the interiors, as a couple with 3 kids, the client needed to have as much patio area as possible, from playground areas in the ground floor, to more private and serene balconies, to a orchard roof deck, and all these landscape program needed to be harmoniously connected with their correspondent interior spaces.
Built in 1846, this posh, newly refreshed Greenwich Village townhouse at 20 East 10th Street is listed for sale, the home of Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, located in Greenwich Village, New York. At 25 feet wide and six stories tall, the 6,800 square foot single family townhouse with 7 fireplaces is the architectural and historical embodiment of pristine New York luxury living.
Spotted on Douglas Elliman, this stunning townhouse is listed at $22,000,000, from here.
The Parlor Floor introduces itself with a gray Barr flagstone entry, 12 foot ceilings, twin fireplaces, dentil molding, original mantle, and a Juliet balcony (from which one can access the beautifully landscaped Garden). Light gushes through the floor-to-ceiling double-paned mahogany windows in the formal dining room, which is connected to the living room by a gorgeously molded framed entry.
The Garden Floor is outfitted with a Boffi stainless steel and rich walnut eat-in kitchen, bookend marble wall fireplace, Boffi shelving and storage units, with off-kitchen access to the south-facing, split level Garden.
The Guest Floor features three bedrooms, the largest of which has an exquisite en suite marble bath, separate sitting / office area, and Victorian fireplace. The two smaller bedrooms are perfectly appointed as guest or child’s bedrooms, and also feature an en suite bath. A generous linen closet is also located herein.
The Master Floor is beautifully proportioned as an elegant retreat, complete with 25′ x 12′ private terrace, an imported stone fireplace, a hand-carved stone ovular tub, antique tiles, separate sinks, shower room, water closet, and windowed walk-in. The master bath also has its own fireplace.
The Family Floor is illuminated by two oversized skylights. 50′ long bookcases, a separate built-in entertainment system, small windowed office with storage closet, and limestone / mosaic half-bath.
The house comes with five-zone HVAC system, state of the art NEST thermostats, Lutron Maestro dimmers with LED displays, a modern water-based fire suppression system, air cleaning and humidification system, seven working fireplaces, and Arnold Chan designed lighting.
This renovated four story brick townhouse has been designed by Turett Collaborative Architects, located on East 61st Street in the Upper East Side of New York. In the redesign of this 100 year old 4,500 square foot townhouse, the interior and back walls were removed and reconstructed; now, a large airy skylight above the staircase in the midsection of the house floods every room with natural light.
Expanding livable space appealing to modern aesthetics is a primary design challenge in townhouse renovation. In our renovation of this 61st street townhouse, the interior and rear walls were removed and reconstructed. With floor-to-ceiling windows and skylight, natural light now floods every room.
The beauty of this townhouse is in the simplicity of its design, and in the use of natural materials to enhance it. Stone, steel, travertine and fiber-cement panels are used extensively on the exterior, while frosted glass, white stained maple, and polished steel adorn the new interior. The clear spatial configuration, innovative glass addition, use of natural materials and attention to neighborhood integrity, work in harmony to redefine a modern townhouse.
The townhouse garnered national attention when it was used as the on-camera contestants’ residence for Bravo’s “Make Me a Supermodel.”
Townhouse Design Tip
Townhouses are often defined by a narrow width with multiple floors. Stair design demands design creativity and innovation to make optimal use of space and to amplify a sense of opens. Consider waterfall or “sawtooth” oak treads and risers which cantilever over the painted stair stringer enhancing the perceived thinness of the stair section. Glass walls define the stair circulation zone at the lower two public floors, transitioning to a custom designed steel guardrail.
Photos: Courtesy of Turett Collaborative Architects
We just received the latest project from Turett Collaborative Architects, a recent townhouse renovation on a 19th century building on Leyroy Street, a quiet eclave in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood.
We love it when clients aren’t afraid to share their grand dreams for their home, even if it seems to defy what’s possible for the location. The building had been a coal delivery garage in the 1920’s and by the 1990’s was a parking garage with a small residential space above it. When our client purchased the building, he knew it had the potential to be a great home, but he never envisioned how it would come to life as a bold, functional and expansive home suitable for hosting business, political and fundraising soirees.
Our overall goal in designing this home – nearly from scratch in the shell of an historic structure – was to fill it with meticulous modern detail and offer every amenity, while making it feel pleasingly established and comfortable, as though it had always been there. Although the original interiors were entirely demolished, we were able to save some elements and adapt them for reuse in the new townhouse.
The structure’s original timbers became stair treads and areas of a brick wall were exposed to provide visual interest and texture in the main living space. The original external brick facade was partially preserved, with a steel, wood and “green screen” added for promoting plant growth on second floor and rooftop garden areas.
By using every inch of available space and infusing light in various ways (the strategic use of light plays a major role in all of our townhouse renovations), the end result is a 4,500 square foot residential townhouse that immediately upon entry is seen as an awe-inspiring example of what creative use of materials, contemporary design, and a healthy budget can achieve.
Residents and visitors are greeted with a dramatic foyer and staircase that ascends to all four stories. Past the staircase is a combination kitchen, dining and living room area flooded with natural light from a massive structural skylight and a wall of windows. A fun feature we were excited to include is a koi pond that spans from the living room to the outdoor garden!
Our client’s home boasts these (and many other!) exciting features:
• Fully glazed back walls from the first to fourth floors and a 3-story glass wall, highlighting the space’s dramatic height
• A “cool” catwalk with access to the upper reaches of the double-height space
• A grass lawn on the second floor terrace
• A serene master shower design that incorporates the outdoors
• A luxurious high-speed elevator
• An indoor parking area – for 3 cars, with a lift!
• State of the art Lutron Lighting system
• “Smart home” capabilities that enable updating controls for security, entertainment, comfort, and energy use within the home
Photos: Courtesy of Turett Collaborative Architects
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