written by:
February 29, 2016
From Gowanus in Brooklyn to the Upper West Side, these nine projects show the breadth of creativity that comes with reimagining the historic row house.
Brooklyn row house with Red Cedar facade by Office of Architecture.

Nestled in a dense Brooklyn neighborhood, the homeowners of this neatly programmed residence wanted to invest in a home and a neighborhood for the longterm. “When we were approached by our clients to gut renovate and add to a 110 year old row house, our goal was to create a home that could adapt to the anticipated changes in their lifestyle instead of the reverse,” explains Aniket Shahane, Principal Architect of Brooklyn based Office of Architecture. Approximately 70% of the building can be used as a 2 bedroom/2 bath unit, while the remaining 30% of the building is given over to a 1 bedroom/1 bath unit.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Revitalized Brooklyn Home Designed to Adjust with Changing Family
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Modern stucco facade

The street facade of New York City’s first certified Passive House, known as Tighthouse, is clad in pale gray stucco, sculpted with a few historic-looking details. But, if you knock on that wall, it sounds hollow: The stucco is merely the outermost layer in a 20-inch-thick insulated sandwich. The original brick is buried deep inside, where it can do no harm—via chinks, cracks, or settling—to the supersealed box this 19th-century, 3,120-square-foot Park Slope house has now become.

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Originally appeared in A Sustainable Brownstone Transformation in Brooklyn
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Modern Brooklyn renovation street facade

Margarita McGrath and Scott Oliver of Noroof Architects termed this 1,650-square-foot house in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, “Pushmi-Pullyu,” in reference to the interior-exterior flow they created. Resident Jill Magid, pictured on her front steps with son Linus, is a conceptual artist; she fabricated the neon house numbers.

 

Originally appeared in History Stays Alive in This Brooklyn Home
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Modern living room renovation with purple cushion sofa and exposed ceiling beams

For Mark Dixon, an architect, and Alexandra Lange, an architecture critic (and sometime Dwell contributor), reuniting the separate levels of a typical mid-19th-century duplexed house common to the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn would challenge their expertise and expectations. Their collaboration provided clues as to how their design ideas—his as a designer, hers as a passionate observer—would translate into practice.

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Courtesy of 
matthew williams
Originally appeared in Family Home Renovation in Brooklyn
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Brick house facade in Brooklyn

A Brooklyn architect shows what a little elbow grease, a healthy dose of naïveté, and a decade can accomplish with this Prospect Heights row house renovation.

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Originally appeared in New Prospects
5 / 9
shaded back porch

With the help of architects from the Agencie Group, Helen Dealtry and Dan Barry created a home that is suited for a contemporary lifestyle but respects the 150-year history of their Williamsburg residence. Photo by Tara Donne.

 

Originally appeared in Modern Brooklyn Row House Renovation
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A restored brick facade of a five-story home in New York.

Open floor plans aren’t typically associated with historic buildings, yet that’s just what architects Michele Busiri-Vici and Clementina Ruggieri of Space4Architects achieved through the use of bright walls, white oak woodwork, and a striking central staircase. The riser-less stair uncoils as it descends through this five-story tall Upper West Side building, enabling light from a glazed back facade and skylight to reach even the lowest stories. 

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Originally appeared in A Coiled Staircase Breathes Light into a 15-Foot-Wide Manhattan Town House
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A second-story balcony overlooks a small yard.

With a little faith and a lot of foresight, Keisha Martin entrusted Laura Briggs and Jonathan Knowles to revitalize a derelict row house, returning it to its original splendor and then some. Martin’s new home is both an homage to the past and a design for the future.

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Originally appeared in Modern Rowhouse Renovation in New York
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Narrow brick house in Harlem, New York.

Yvette Leeper-Bueno and Adrian Bueno’s townhouse, on West 112th Street, in the shadow of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, has been in the family since 1982. “My father loved the area, and he was exuberant about this property,” says Yvette Leeper-Bueno, who lives there with her husband and two children. Architects Laura Briggs and Jonathan Knowles designed a modern renovation that remains entirely at home in, and indebted to, the community.

Originally appeared in 5 Small and Narrow Modern Houses
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Brooklyn row house with Red Cedar facade by Office of Architecture.

Nestled in a dense Brooklyn neighborhood, the homeowners of this neatly programmed residence wanted to invest in a home and a neighborhood for the longterm. “When we were approached by our clients to gut renovate and add to a 110 year old row house, our goal was to create a home that could adapt to the anticipated changes in their lifestyle instead of the reverse,” explains Aniket Shahane, Principal Architect of Brooklyn based Office of Architecture. Approximately 70% of the building can be used as a 2 bedroom/2 bath unit, while the remaining 30% of the building is given over to a 1 bedroom/1 bath unit.

Photo by Ben Anderson.

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