The Garden Street Townhouse is an 18-foot wide brownstone located in historic Hoboken, NJ. In 2012, the entire lower level of the townhouse was submerged under Hurricane Sandy floodwaters. The clients brought in Agencie to restore the entire house, construct a rearyard extension and create a watertight structure to withstand future flooding.
The lower walls were reconstructed as a watertight concrete “bathtub.” These reinforced concrete walls were engineered to withstand high levels of water pressure and unequal static forces due to uplift. The walls were lined with thermoplastic waterproofing sheet membranes that featured double-welded seams.
The mechanical systems were engineered to ensure that HVAC systems maintain full performance during future flood events. The plumbing design incorporates a series of sensors, drains, generators and sump pumps that are linked to the Nest system and immediately pump out any floodwater.
Architecturally, the goal was to open up and modernize the plan, bring in more natural light, and to enhance the historic character that made the existing house so appealing in the first place. A solatube light tunnel was used to bring brilliant daylight deep into the center of the house. A large steel and glass window wall, inserted into the rear of the house, opens up the parlor level to a new deck and the garden below.
In a brilliant turn at the front door, old timber joists were adapted to separate the entrance from the parlor.
Andres Cortes, AIA
Sarrah Khan, PE
Nuria Forques Puigcerver