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Another grotesque conglomeration of the old and new is planned for 533 Leonard Street in Greenpoint. A rendering on the construction fence shows an attractive red brick 19th century school building apparently being eaten alive by a “dark ‘n’ boxy Transformer” (Curbed’s words) clinging to its backside. The “Transformer,” aka the new addition, will house 13 apartments and be 50 feet tall.

Philip Toscano is the architect, according to Curbed, which was the first to publish the rendering. Click through for a close-up. At least they’re not demo’ing the old building, is all we can say.

New Greenpoint Building Looks Like a Transformer Ate It [Curbed]
Photos by Curbed (more…)

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Get ready for Open House New York, two days when hundreds of sites across the city are open for visits, talks, performances and other special events with designers, architects, preservationists and others.

The full schedule for events taking place the weekend of October 11 and 12 will not be public until September 30, but we already know about several very exciting site visits planned for Brooklyn:

*Crowdfunding startup Kickstarter will throw open the doors on its renovation of the landmarked Eberhard Faber pencil factory, above, in Greenpoint. Architects Ole Sondresen Architect will discuss the design and construction process.

*Architects Caples Jefferson will lead a tour of the new Weeksville Heritage Center in Crown Heights the firm designed and explain the symbolism of the building.

*Turnstile Tours will give free tours of Sunset Park’s Brooklyn Army Terminal, the U.S.’s largest military supply base through the end of World War II, whose staggered balconies in its iconic atrium were designed by Cass Gilbert.

Photo via Open House New York

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We were surprised to see Curbed reblog a story of ours about the third Edge tower from December yesterday but appreciate the shoutout. Later, Curbed tracked down a rendering of the tower we haven’t seen before.

The design looks pretty similar to the other Edge buildings. There is one big difference, however, that stands out: Apparently the tower at 2 North 6th Place will be dark colored. In fact, it looks black in the rendering. The other Edge buildings are glassy and white.

Has the Edge gone goth? What do you think of the design?

Photo by Curbed

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A partially constructed townhouse at the corner of Pacific Street and Boerum Place in Boerum Hill has hit the market for $4,980,000, and the listing has some fresh renderings with interiors designed by one of the Beastie Boys. The four-bedroom, four-bath house at 242 Pacific Street will weigh in at 4,150 square feet, according to the Corcoran listing.

Brooklyn-based architects John and Jill Bouratoglou are designing and developing the house with Mike Diamond, a founding member of the Beastie Boys who designed his own Cobble Hill townhouse with the Bouratoglous. (He also designed his own wallpaper for it, Flavor Paper’s Brooklyn Toile.) The modern home will feature a double height living room, private garage, two outdoor terraces, a roof deck and a central vacuum cleaner system. Construction is expected to finish in December of this year.

Click through to see the interior renderings. What do you think of the design?

242 Pacific Street Listing [Corcoran]
Single Family Townhouse Planned for Corner of Boerum Place and Pacific Street [Brownstoner]

(more…)

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Construction at the three neo-traditional townhouses at Strong Place and Kane Street in Cobble Hill is close to finished, and Curbed got the first look at some renderings of the interiors. Number 2A, which hit the market last year at $4,475,000, is a 3,720-square-foot home with five bedrooms and 3.5 baths. That house entered contract in April, and the two single-family brownstones at Nos. 2 and 4 have yet to be listed.

Both of those will measure 3,730 square feet and include five bedrooms and 3.5 baths, according to developer Brennan Realty. Each home will feature a backyard, penthouse terraces and a double-height window wall at rear garden and parlor levels. Designed by CWB, the homes are modeled after classic brick townhouses, but the insides are modern. Click through to see the interiors. What do you think of the design?

Peek the Strong Place Townhouses [Curbed]
Three Townhouses Rise on Strong Place [Brownstoner]
Images via Brennan Realty

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Do you remember 102 Gates Avenue, an estate sale condition Italianate in Clinton Hill that attracted 350 people to the open house in early 2013? Well, now it’s been beautifully restored and is going on the market in a few weeks, according to a story in the BK to the Fullest. Click through to the jump to see the “after” photos of the restored house.

When it was a House of the Day, we said, “Here’s the kind of listing we love to see: The house needs restoration, but just about every original detail appears to be present.” (more…)

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As part of Design Week, BKLYN Designs is back in Dumbo, and there’s a new show at Industry City about design objects and processes featuring local makers.

BKLYN Designs is a juried show of contemporary furnishings, lighting and accessories made or designed in Brooklyn. There will also be special events over the three-day show, which runs today through Sunday, including a panel on design moderated by New York Magazine’s design editor Wendy Goodman, a walking tour of Dumbo with Architect’s Newspaper editor Alan Brake, and a Kidville Brooklyn outdoor play lounge on Jay Street. The main exhibition space is at St. Ann’s Warehouse at 29 Jay Street. For more information, see the BKLYN Designs website.

Industry City/Design will also have demos, workshops and a “Meet the Maker” series. Participants include ToBeUs, Urban Glass, BHold, Alpi, Tools for Working Wood (pictured), and DDC/BuiltNYC. The show opens Saturday and runs through Tuesday May 20 at 220 36th Street in Sunset Park. For more information, check out the show’s website.

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The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of its 14th Building Brooklyn Awards, which evaluate new construction and renovation projects ranging from schools to historic restorations, at the Only Brooklyn Real Estate Summit on Tuesday. Fort Greene’s very modern Theater for a New Audience won in the Arts and Culture category, and the Weeksville Heritage Center (pictured) won for Civic/Institutional.

Other winners included the Coney Island YMCA, Liberty View Industrial Plaza in Sunset Park, Pave Academy Charter School in Red Hook, the restoration of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility, Coney Island’s planned comfort stations, the Gowanus Whole Foods and Brookland Capital’s Bed Stuy offices.

Kickstarter’s fancy eco-friendly offices in the Eberhard Pencil Factory also made the cut, as did the design for CAMBA Gardens in Flatbush and Two Trees’ revamp of a brick factory at 25 Washington Street. Click over to this slideshow created by the Chamber to see photos and renderings of all the winning buildings.

What do you think of the selections?

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There is probably no more all-consuming home design trend in the last 35 years than the “great room,” a giant open plan room that combines family room and dining room with kitchen. This has resulted most recently in Brooklyn in flippers who rip all the walls out of 19th century houses and the building of so-called luxury apartments with tiny strip kitchens in the living room.

Now, according to The New York Times, renters and home buyers both are demanding separate kitchens and dining rooms, and builders are building them. The story details home hunters who purchased a one-bedroom Art Deco apartment in Kensington with a traditional kitchen and a townhouse in Ditmas Park with a separate kitchen and formal oak-paneled dining room. Above, the separate dining room and kitchen at Jessica and Doug Warren’s house in Clinton Hill. Reasons given include:

*Better for entertaining.
*Don’t have to see dirty dishes.
*Hides the prep work.

“So much new construction features open floor plans that there’s a pent-up desire for apartments with separate dining rooms and kitchen,” said one real estate agent. “For a certain demographic, they’re a definite selling point.”

The Times cited many new buildings with traditional floor plans, including one with pocket doors that let the inhabitants decide whether to open or close off the kitchen. All of them, tellingly, are in Manhattan where new construction is focused on the very high end of the market, except for one, the rental building at 250 North 10th in Williamsburg. A third of the studios there feature “single-opening galley kitchens separate from the living area.” They are priced at about $2,500 a month.

“People say, I’ve been looking for this,” said the developer. “Not a majority, but you hear it from people who like to cook. Nevertheless, they don’t want to cook in the middle of their living room.”

Which do you prefer?

The Separate Kitchen Makes a Comeback [NY Times]
Photo by Desire to Inspire

adaptive-reuse-030414A distinguished  panel of architects and designers will discuss the virtues and challenges of adaptive reuse at the Brooklyn Historical Society on Thursday, March 6.

Panelists include Morris Adjmi, architect of the Wythe Hotel; Joseph Vance of Joseph Vance Architecture; Daniella Romano, Vice President of Programs, Research, and Archive at Brooklyn Navy Yard’s BLDG 92; Bill Hilgendorf of Uhuru Design; and photographer and co-author of “Design Brooklyn” Michel Arnaud.

“Design Brooklyn” co-author Anne Hellman will moderate. A book signing and beer for sale will follow the discussion.

“Adaptive Reuse in Brooklyn: Buildings, Rooms, and Objects” takes place at 128 Pierrepont Street from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased here.

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Design Brooklyn brings us some fresh shots and commentary on Prospect Park’s beautiful new LeFrak Center at Lakeside.

In a section of Prospect Park called Lakeside — until recently the somewhat neglected site of the Wollman Rink — a crisply beautiful new building has taken its place within the landscape. Designed by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien in collaboration with the Prospect Park Alliance’s lead landscape architect Christian Zimmerman, the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center offers a year-round skating facility as well as a stunning example of how restoration can work hand-in-hand with modern design. (more…)