US Building of the Week
LOT office for architecture
22. March 2021
Photo: Brian W. Ferry
This aptly named townhouse stands out from its neighbors in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood by way of a bold color choice. The same blue covers the rear elevation that faces a minimalist patio in concrete and corrugated metal, while the interior spaces are bright and white. LOT office for architecture answered a few questions about the recently completed renovation project.
Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Architect: LOT office for architecture
- Design Principal: Leonidas Trampoukis
- Project Team: Eleni Petaloti, Isabel Sarasa Mene
Structural Engineer: Angelos Georgopoulos pc
MEP/FP Engineer: Tan Engineering
Site Area: 1,850 sf
Building Area: 3,000 sf
Photo: Brian W. FerryWhat were the circumstances of receiving the commission for this project?
It was a direct commission by a private client who requested the renovation of an existing three-story building for a private residence with additional rental space on the ground floor.
Photo: Brian W. FerryPlease provide an overview of the project.
The Blue Building is a private townhouse located in Bushwick, Brooklyn for an artist couple. The three-story building opens up to a private patio at the back of the lot that is intentionally left open built around an existing large magnolia tree. The light colored concrete patio is surrounded by a reflective corrugated surface that picks up all color changes throughout the passing of the day. A blue perforated aluminum outdoor curtain isolates part of the outdoor space, creating an intimate environment with a sense of privacy as the lower floor of the building often hosts guests.
Photo: Brian W. Ferry
The interior has been completely renovated leaving only the bare structure of the existing building. Narrow black stained hardwood floors, bright white walls and exposed original brick elements give a loft-like feel and intensify the opened-up interior space volume.
At the top floor, the tall 11-foot ceiling creates an open living loft with large windows and skylights. Translucent, full-height polycarbonate panels open up to the few rooms, such as a children room and a study connecting them all in one space, maintaining visual continuity, brightness and sense of scale when shut.
Metal extrusions that frame the openings at the outside create depth between interior and exterior. Their inner side painted white reflects more bright light into the interior space and extends the interior outside.
Photo: Brian W. FerryWhat are the main ideas and inspirations influencing the design of the project?
The color was inspired by the studio’s design project Formations, a series of ultramarine blue playful seating-scaled elements that at the time of construction was first presented as an urban art installation.
Photo: Brian W. FerryHow does the design respond to the unique qualities of the existing building?
The complete gut renovation of a centenary townhouse brings the opportunity to create a statement on a vibrant changing neighborhood. The monochromatic blue exterior responds with its own bold expression to the urban fabric.
Photo: Brian W. FerryHow did the project change between the initial design stage and its completion?
Since this was a gut renovation of an existing frame building, there were many unknowns in regards to the structure. A few alterations were needed to respond to site-specific needs, though overall the design was carried out in its totality from concept to construction. Project management on site and architect supervision ended up being valuable in the final outcome.
Email interview conducted by John Hill.