A dilapidated mid-1800s tenement has been completely restored and rejuvenated with modern design. This urban dream home resides in the vibrant, sought-after neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn and was renovated by owner-architect Alex Gil of Spacecutter for himself and his wife.
What stands out is the Corten steel cube structure which has become the newly-added fourth floor of this three-story building. With 2,300 square feet, the the third floor where the couple resides was fully gutted and reinforced with the necessary structural elements that such an old building would require. The building’s facade still features original details and framing, but now features new red brick and glass window panels.
The main level of the duplex home features a vast kitchen and dining space, which is highlighted by a massive custom-wood rectangular table, with an eroding, textured fascia. This piece of red-cedar furniture commands attention and is a beautiful organic-looking mass which seems more like an art installation as it sits under a series of square, paneless windows. A floor-to-ceiling storage cabinet and block island discreetly house appliances and culinary accessories.
Washes of deep grey on walls and flooring extend to the sloped triangular structure which houses the entrance stairs, as well as the adjacent internal staircase. Two original brick fireplaces discovered during the demolition are nestled within opposing walls of this open space.
Down a hallway is the master suite with dressing room. This space is deep and dark, with black walls helping to create a relaxing nest. The adjoining bathroom is clean-lined in white and travertine, but it’s the specially-designed stainless steel tub that is simply amazing, not to mention ultra-cool.
Upstairs is the bright and cheery living room, featuring stark white furnishings and built-ins, and accented with a perky confetti-red rug and a rainbow spectrum of books. A glazed wall with pivoting door opens to the expansive rooftop terrace, a definite star space of this property. Just off of this living area is the main bath which is enveloped in handmade, splashy blue mermaid-scale tiles–love the texture play here!
It’s always so intriguing to see how a building, which could have been demolished, is instead smartly restored and enhanced with solid design. The Brooklyn Duplex has accomplished this, becoming an edgy, modern dream home of today.
Photographs © Michael Vahrenwald.