This project is the comprehensive gut renovation and rehabilitation of a townhouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The house dates to the 1850s and was the residence of workers from the nearby Domino Sugar refinery. After decades of neglect, the property was in severe disrepair. This culminated in the 1990s, when wood debris stored in the house caught fire. The clients, a musician who trades in securities, and a textile designer, brought in Agencie to restore the historic property and construct a modern 2-story addition in the rearyard. The result is a “spacious and light-filled home ready for the next 150 years.”
The dining room and the living room are designed to be perched above the expansive garden. Agencie engineered a steel support that allowed the rear wall to be blown out and replaced with a steel storefront window. The new storefront floods the room with light and provides a panoramic view of the lush garden.
Agencie added a sense of texture in elements such as ceilings and floors. For example, the stamped tin ceiling, fabricated by a local Brooklyn tinsmith, gives rich texture to the main floor. The embossed, historic ceilings are complemented by a modern Henrybuilt kitchen and a sleek Lacanche stove.
The project was conceived and built in 2009 in the midst of the crash in the housing market. Agencie acted as architects, engineers, and builders. This synergistic, streamlined approach reduced the budget and saved the clients a considerable amount of money.
"Their goal was to create a home that fit their modern lifestyle and love of entertaining but still respected the history of the 150-year-old building."
Andrés Cortés, AIA
Sarrah Khan, PE