Passive House Condos Nearly Finished on Bergen Street in Park Slope

We were biking down Bergen Street in Park Slope yesterday when we noticed this interesting building between Flatbush and 5th Avenue. Turns out that it’s unusual looking for a reason: Those are solar panels on the front of the facade.

The rendering posted on the fence at 443 Bergen Street (pictured after the jump) says that the five-story development has solar panels, triple glazed passive house windows and doors, brazilian walnut wood reclaimed from boardwalks, and “three lovely condominiums.” The condos will include a three-bedroom, 2.5-bath duplex, a two-bedroom floor-through, and a three-bedroom, three-bath triplex, according to the rendering.

The most recent architect of record is Amiel Savaldi. Permits note note the owner is Jeffrey McMahon, who “designs homes meant to enhance the health and well being of the homeowner and the earth,” according to his website.

Old property photos show the site used to house a garage. There are no new building or demo permits, only alteration ones, so perhaps the condos built on part of the original structure.

The construction sign says work will wrap this summer. What do you think of the design?

11 Comment

  • “a building can’t be green unless you dry your clothes on a clothesline”


  • Not so much the panels as that white border to the left which is ugly! Is that the final color? Why doesn’t it match the beige-y color of the outer panels?

    Also, solar panels should be oriented at an angle to get the best sun exposure. Better if they had put these on the roof. But then it wouldn’t be a ‘statement’, would it?

  • Panels wouldn’t be so ugly, just sort of a modern look … BUT in row houses, you only get the front and back walls for windows usually, and it seems such as shame to have limited the amount of light in these condos with so few windows on the front. Solar and passive is nice, but need it be done at the expense of windows, natural light, and views? Am no solar expert, but also am under the impression that solar panels would get more direct sunlight on the roof.

    • You are correct. Vertical solar panels is a total waste. They’re really only there to tell people they have solar panels. Roof top would have been better maybe augmented with solar power generating glass in their south facing windows. Probably too expensive.

  • I like to think that architecture and technology have reached a point where solar panels do not have to look like that. That photo is actually pretty flattering – the building in person is hideous, especially since that block of Bergen is one of the nicest little shopping strips in the area. I don’t see how you could look at that street and say “ah, yes, blue solar panels down the front with wood and ugly beige material!”

    Also, Bergen is not a wide street. I can’t imagine that the panels lower on the building would get much sunlight during the day, especially during the months that the trees are grown in.

  • The solar panels block the ability to daylight the house… in effect they are collecting the energy needed to power the lights they created!

  • That’s an aggressive look for a passive house