A Brooklyn Heights townhouse has been re-invented through a collaboration of an inspired client vision and a creative architectural realization with Murdock Solon Architects (MSA).
The renovation needed to accommodate a family of five relocating from Paris to New York with three young children. The desire was to create a sanctuary in the city where the family could pause its hectic schedules of school and work to enjoy time together. A home primed for family time, as well as entertaining friends, the design creates spaces of intimacy and comfort that both the children and the parents can enjoy.
The guiding principle behind the design was the juxtaposition of old and new, creating visual and textural variety. The design exposed the natural wear and beauty of re-purposed materials. Reclaimed oak was used as cantilevered shelves in the kitchen. Additional reclaimed brick and wood were used throughout the project and were contrasted with sleek minimal finishing materials in the bathrooms and kitchen. The dark gray painted woodwork unifies the palette throughout the house and adds depth and complexity to the townhouse’s environment. Special attention to lighting, both natural and artificial, highlighted different moments of the architectural details and underlined the thoughtful strategy given to the experience of moving through the home.
Pocket doors and sliding partitions are used in very different ways throughout: in the kitchen a reclaimed barn door hides a utilitarian pantry; upstairs, the kids’ rooms house large sliding partitions that open for communal play and close for homework and privacy; and in the media room, special details for sound attenuation allow for different activities while accommodating all of the house’s happy and active dwellers, resulting in a dynamic and peaceful home.
Principal-in-Charge: Shea Murdock
Project Architect: Kara Koirtyohann
Project Team: Lisa Ileka, Elizabeth Wu, Kelly Solon
Structural Engineer: Blue Sky Design
General Contractor: AJ Greenwich
Photographer: Rachael Stollar