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The Lefferts Place Mews, a collection of old-school-looking townhomes that are actually condominium apartments, is coming along nicely at 76-88 Lefferts Place in Clinton Hill, we saw when we stopped by recently to snap some photos.

The brownstone and red brick façade has gone up, the windows are in, and workers were just starting on the cornice. The collection of four buildings with a total of 31 units launched sales in October, starting at $625,000, as we reported at the time. (more…)

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It’s raining Tetris buildings in Brooklyn!

We spied another Tetris like facade going up on yet another Bushwick building at 1138 Bushwick Avenue, pictured above. The frame building was undergoing a renovation after it and its neighbors to the right and left caught fire last year. It caught fire again last week, but the facade escaped serious damage, as we detailed in this post.

By our count, this is one of at least five buildings in Brooklyn whose geometric facades bring to mind the 1980s computer game. Most are variations on geometric patterns.

As far as we can tell, only the brightly colored mural on the facade of 1091 Madison Street, pictured after the jump, appears to be an intentional reference to the game. See and read more below. (more…)

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If you’ve noted an above-average number of stylish types buzzing around Sunset Park’s industrial precincts this week it’s due to WantedDesign Brooklyn, a 12-day festival that runs at Industry City through next Tuesday.

There will be installations, pop-up stores, workshops, demonstrations, forums and other design-centric programming. There’s a daily exhibition whose offerings include an interactive mural designed by Dusen Dusen using magnetic wallpaper, above. Visitors can place magnetic geometric shapes anywhere on the wallpaper’s surface, creating a constantly shifting pattern. (more…)

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Coming next month: Brooklyn’s juried design fair highlighting designers, architects, builders, consumers and other creatives in the borough. Bklyn Designs will showcase furniture, lighting and home accessories designed or made locally.

Now in its 12th year, the event will feature talks and panels on such subjects as residential design trends, emerging architects and preservation. By Brooklyn, CASA Kids, History + Industry and Reclaimed Home are some of the local makers and retailers who will participate. (more…)

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Forget the renderings. The condos at 4 Downing Street, in the building formerly known as the Broken Angel, are very beautiful in person.

The design and finishes are restrained, carefully considered, and meticulously constructed. We toured one finished model apartment as well as several others under construction Thursday.

A few artifacts from Arthur Wood’s Broken Angel remain. (more…)

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Here’s the design for the big apartment building that will replace the BP gas station and car wash on a prominent Crown Heights corner, Bedford and Eastern Parkway. As you may recall, developer Adam America bought the property for $32,500,000 in January.

The Issac and Stern-designed building will be rectangular with two setbacks, and clad in a combination of light and dark-colored brick. It will have eight stories, with ground-floor retail space that “meets the intersection at the same acute angle as its somewhat irregular lot,” according to YIMBY, which was the first to publish the renderings. It looks pretty similar to the building planned for the former Fox Savoy Theater site next door, which is also being designed by Issac and Stern.

The Issac and Stern-designed project at 1535 Bedford Avenue will have 133 apartments, 14,669 square feet of ground floor retail and 42 parking spots, as reported earlier this year. The new building will have a street address of 1519 Bedford.

Do you think this will be an improvement for the corner or will you miss the gas station and car wash?

Revealed: 1535 Bedford Avenue, Crown Heights [NYY]
Crown Heights Gas Station Sells for $32.5 Million, Eight-Story Building Planned [Brownstoner]

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East Williamsburg is finally getting a few interesting buildings, between this small one and the HWKN-designed Yotel just down the street. At 630 Lorimer Street, ODA Architecture has replaced Gerald Caliendo as the architect of record, and we found this rendering attached to the fence.

It doesn’t look like ODA’s work, but it doesn’t look like the usual small ‘Burg building either. We see large, multi-paned windows, a green wall, and balconies hidden behind a masonry (concrete?) screen covering the front of the building.

Permits call for four stories and eight units. Inside, it looks like the foundation is under construction, though we couldn’t get a good look. (The photo after the jump shows only a fraction of the site.) The sign on the fence said construction should wrap in December 2015.

In January, a lis pendens was filed on the property — hope that doesn’t scuttle these new plans. What do you think of the design?

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We are smitten by the latest home to be featured on Design Brooklyn for several reasons:
*The open plan kitchen is a thing of beauty. Appliances are enclosed in a navy-colored l-shaped room divider that looks like a sculpture. The matching cabinets above look like a painting in the center of the tiled kitchen wall. This is the best open plan kitchen we have ever seen.
*The unique kitchen island transforms into a pull-out table that seats 10. Row house owners with parlor floor kitchens too narrow or shallow for a separate dining area should consider this brilliant idea.
*It’s a 650-square-foot one-bedroom and was renovated on a budget.
*The layout and ideas are highly relevant to Brooklyn tenement apartments as well as new construction.
*The owners preserved original details, such as parquet and window surrounds, plus upgraded the bath while keeping its 20th century tile and tub. This was partly a cost savings move, but the results look great.
Naturally, the owners are an interior designer and an architect. Here are all the details — and extra-large photos — from writer Anne Hellman and photographer Michel Arnaud.

When interior designer Nora Calderwood and architect Adam Darter bought their 650-square-foot one-bedroom apartment in Park Slope, they knew they would need to renovate in a major way but on a scaled-down budget. A year later, the result is not only airy and light, it smartly blends original details with the owners’ forward-thinking design ideas.

The apartment had endured some wear and tear, and had been divided up into four small rooms. But with some consideration, the couple realized what could be found underneath the surface. “We were able to look beyond the tattered conditions of the apartment and realized that, with nine-and-a-half-foot ceilings and six south-facing windows, it had potential,” said Adam.

By removing the walls in the main area, Nora and Adam created a loft-like living room, open to the inventive kitchen and dining area. To maximize space and minimize visual clutter (which are musts in a small apartment), Adam designed a kitchen island unit that can be used as both an eat-at island and as a dining table that pulls out into the room for larger dinner parties. (more…)

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YIMBY has posted renderings for three new Brooklyn projects yesterday, including another row of modern-style townhouses in Boerum Hill, pictured above. Ben Hansen Architect will design the five single-family homes at 73-79 Bond Street, each of which will be four stories and 5,600 square feet. It looks like the exteriors will feature light-colored brick, metal siding and large undivided windows — all elements of the architect’s own modern home nearby on State Street.

Next up are two modern apartment buildings in Williamsburg. The first is a jutting, angular structure planned for 308 North 7th Street, wrapping around Meeker Avenue to North 6th Street next to the BQE. Adam America is developing the six-story building, which will house 38 apartments. Designed by Kutnicki Bernstein Architects, the facade appears to be wrapped in a rust-colored material — YIMBY suggests Corten steel — and features triangular balconies. Looks a little post-apocalyptic to us.

And last but not least, there’s an updated rendering for the futuristic 13-story tower in the works at 190 South 1st Street. The ODA-designed project will house 32 apartments and a daycare center among its 39,000 square feet. We like all the balconies and the roof terrace on the second floor, above the day care.

What do you think of the designs?

Revealed: 390 State Street/73-79 Bond Street Townhouses, Boerum Hill [NYY]
First Look: 308 North 7th Street, Williamsburg [NYY]
New Look: 190 South 1st Street, 13-Story Williamsburg Project by ODA [NYY]
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The new building planned for a vacant lot at 178 Court Street in Cobble Hill still hasn’t received Landmarks approval, because the commissioners sent the design back to the drawing board on Tuesday, YIMBY reported. PKSB Architects presented plans for a two-story red brick building with signboards, a painted steel cornice and a nine-foot bulkhead perched on top of the roof. It would house one or two retail tenants.

The LPC deemed it too plain and too tall, asked for “more inventive detailing,” a more established cornice and “broken down scale,” according to YIMBY. Meanwhile, the Historic Districts Council said in an email this week it supports the design but would like to see different signage:

HDC commends this design for its overall sensitivity of scale and materials. We do ask, though, that since the storefront will be considerably taller than those of its Court Street neighbors, the signage be incorporated into the glass transom, rather than on an additional sign band above.

The architects will work with the developer, Lonicera Partners, and return to the LPC next month with an updated design. What do you think of the look?

Landmarks Wants Tweaks to Proposal for New Building at 178 Court Street in Cobble Hill [NYY]
Modern Storefronts Planned for Empty Corner Lot on Court Street in Cobble Hill [Brownstoner]
Rendering by PSKB Architects via Cobble Hill Blog

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Aspen Equities developer and OneTitle founder Seth Brown sent us the above rendering of one of the two buildings planned to replace the now-gone berserk-electic Victorian at 111 Clarkson Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. The address of the new building will be 520 Parkside Avenue.

Permits were granted in December, and construction will start next month, he said. As we have already detailed, the two buildings combined will have 50 rental units. They will be mostly one-bedrooms, with “a few two- and three-bedroom units,” said Brown.

There will also be a landscaped courtyard with individual gardening plots, a gym, and roof deck with a barbecue. Construction should wrap and leasing begin in about 16 months.

What do you think of the look?

111 Clarkson Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Joseph Spector via Aspen Equities

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This four-story building rising at 1444 Bedford Avenue in Crown Heights, which will have a rather offbeat facade, is getting its exterior brick and windows. It’s already apparent that the design is turning out differently than the rendering shows. Instead of four rows of symmetrical, identical, big windows in the middle, the center pairs of windows are narrow slits arrayed asymetrically up and down the facade. It looks like the contrasting facade materials will be distributed in a different pattern, also, and there will likely be no room (or budget?) for the white rectangle that resembled a 19th century metal bay.

By the way, as we reported previously, when construction finishes, it will have eight units spread across 7,312 square feet of space, according to permits first filed in 2012. Joseph A. Mucciolo, P.C. is the architect.

It could still turn out well, but probably not as nice looking as the rendering. Click through to see that rendering, which we found on the fence in December 2013. It features a tripartite facade with wood panelling, brick and a section of white panelling in the middle. At the time, we said it looked like “a modern version of Queen Anne with its red and white coloring,” and Curbed called it a “Tetris-looking hodgepodge of brick, concrete, and wood.” 

What do you think of how the building looks so far?

Rendering out for Crown Heights Build on Bedford Avenue [Brownstoner] GMAP

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