New woodwork, clean lines and rich materials enhance a condo in a recently converted bank building in Brooklyn Heights.
Ensemble Architecture gutted and rebuilt this late-19th-century wood-frame townhouse to create a loft-like duplex home, with a rental unit below.
This may be the only townhouse in Brooklyn with a room dedicated to a urinal, entered via swinging saloon-style doors. “It’s the kind of thing you can do when you have 6,000 square feet,” said Elizabeth Roberts of Ensemble Architecture.
The busy Gowanus-based firm masterminded the transformation of this five-story, 25-foot-wide corner building, taking it from a three-family plus doctor’s office to a four-story home for a single family, with a rental apartment and a professional office on the garden level.
Owned by a single family for a century, this Gilded Age townhouse near Prospect Park came into modern times with nearly all its original detail preserved.
That’s not to say the new homeowners didn’t have work to do. First they hired Red Hook-based MADE Architecture to, among other things, design new bathroom layouts as well as a new layout and cabinetry for the garden-level kitchen, and to bring the intact but timeworn woodwork to a high level of polish.
Then in came Ensemble Architecture to choose furnishings and finishes, including floor and wall tiles, light fixtures, countertops, plumbing fixtures, wallpaper and paint colors. The Gowanus-based studio, which was founded in 1998 by Elizabeth Roberts and now comprises 13 architects and designers, recently expanded its interiors department.
Along with the Nets, fixies, Patrick Stewart, and hydroponic kale, Brooklyn has fireplaces. Amazing fireplaces. The kind of mantels that could inspire a move — if you don’t live here already. Here are 15 we can’t stop dreaming about.
This recently gut-renovated 1860s townhouse in the lower Slope has some trademark signifiers — besides the generally thoughtful and sensitive design — that Elizabeth Roberts and her team at Gowanus-based Ensemble Architecture were here.
An artist and a cookbook writer needed a place to live and work. Her sculpture is large-scale; his profession requires a kitchen that can occasionally double as a TV studio.
After years of moving from one rental to another, they found a 3,500-square-foot co-op on the ground floor of an old Williamsburg warehouse and called on Elizabeth Roberts of Gowanus-based Ensemble Architecture to pull the space together to suit their needs.
Roberts carefully considered how to maintain the integrity of the existing industrial space while creating a functional, inviting residence with a bit of polish. “It was an important decision to leave the ceiling and columns and structure as they were, and let them be real features,” Roberts said.
WELCOME TO THE INSIDER, Brownstoner’s weekly in-depth look at a notable interior design or renovation project, written and produced by Cara Greenberg. Find it here every Thursday at 11.
WHERE MOST PEOPLE SEE A WRECK, architects see glorious opportunity. So said Elizabeth Roberts, founding principal of Gowanus-based Ensemble Architecture, of this four-story brick row house whose new owners are a young family late of SoHo.
“The house was in really bad shape,” said Roberts of the neglected 20-by-36-foot structure, into which the architects managed to fit four bedrooms, a study, three full baths and two half baths. “It had been vacant, water had been leaking for a few years, and the rear wall was falling down. The opportunity was there for opening it up a lot, and putting on a two-story addition.”
That 13-foot-deep addition was the project’s boldest stroke. Now, the new garden-level kitchen, as well as the back parlor on the floor above, open into a two-story volume containing a high-ceilinged dining space.