A pair of newly installed gardens -- a bi-level backyard with a modernist shade structure and a stone-paved terrace three stories up -- complete the renovation of a Brooklyn row house.
It was a lucky score: an 1890s brownstone in Carroll Gardens with an exceptionally long (70 feet) parlor floor and a load of well-preserved detail. The new homeowners came to Brooklyn-based architect Kim Hoyt for help creating an owners’ duplex out of two separate flats, as well as a new kitchen at the rear of the parlor floor.
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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.