Fort Greene Townhouse Landmarks Hearing

First post for this project although we’ve been working on it for a year already.  

We’re designing a very cool project in Fort Greene - the conversion of a dilapidated SRO (Single Room Occupancy multiple dwelling) to a two-family home.  The building dates back to the 1850s and is one of the oldest houses in the neighborhood.  The house is a wood-framed building with a full-height, full-width brick extension which was added, we think, in the 1910s or earlier.

The new design of the building is somewhat unique and you can read about it on our website:  Fort Greene Townhouse.

We presented the project to the New York City Landmarks Commission at a public hearing a couple of weeks ago specifically to request approval for a number of big-ticket items including modifications to the roofline and rear parapet, HVAC equipment on the roof, use of cementitious clapboards and aluminum-clad wood windows on the primary facade and the removal of the sad-looking two-story bay on the rear of the house.  All of these items are visible from a public way.

The hearing went outstandingly well and the Commissioners not only complimented our work, but also indicated that they would approve most of the items we presented.  They requested some changes to the rear of the building where the bay is to be removed.  Also the cementitious clapboards (which satisfies a requirement from the Department of Buildings that the cladding material be non-combustible) were an issue for some of them, these Commissioners would have preferred to see wood clapboards (which DOB would not accept).  LPC will be negotiating this behind the scenes with DOB.  The group was split with regard to the rooftop HVAC units.  We are looking forward to going back for a follow-up meeting in the coming weeks.

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nC2 architecture has Launched a New Website!

Many months in the making.  Bigger pictures, more projects, clearer format - check it out:

nC2architecture.com

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Park Slope Triplex is Complete

Wow, 7 months since the last post.  We’ve been busy.  The Park Slope Triplex was completed a few months ago.  We’ve had it photographed and the project now features prominently on our newly designed website.

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Check it out: Park Slope Brownstone Triplex

Park Slope Triplex Millwork Progress

The central stair, library and office space - almost complete and looking amazing!

Construction Progress on our Park Slope Triplex

Work is moving along well on our Park Slope Triplex. The grand double-height entry, library and office space featuring the dramatic main stair is now completely open. This central space, which was always quite dark due to the depth of the building (typical townhouse with no side windows), is now flooded with light from both levels - a successful resolution of one of this project’s main design challenges.

Gowanus Townhouse Progress

More construction progress on the Gowanus Townhouse. The cantilevered steel structure for the deck is in.  The cantilever accommodates the client’s request to have no supporting columns in the rear yard. Our structural engineering firm, Yoshinori Nito Engineering and Design PC, helped us out with this unique structural solution, which uses a tension member to transfer the upward load from the cantilever backspan to the townhouse’s central beam in the cellar. 

nC2 architecture appears on MSN.com!

M Lofts in the press again!  This time in MSN.com’s real estate section:

MSN article on nC2 website or original

Click here to read more about the M Lofts project on our website…

More nC2 Press

We’re very excited about press coverage we’ve received lately. nC2 architecture Principal and Founder, Richard Goodstein, has been featured in three articles since the beginning of the year.

Take a look:

Haute Living wrote about the relationship of Richard’s earlier work designing skyscrapers and other enormous commercial projects to his current work with nC2 architecture.

Haute Living article on nC2 website or [original] 

An article in Boulevard Magazine where Richard discusses the renovation and modernization of an historic brownstone:

Boulevard Magazine article on nC2 website or [original]

And a short biographical sketch in the Times Square Chronicles tracing Richard’s career from Europe to corporate NYC and finally to his current work with nC2.

Times Square Chronicles article on nC2 website or [original]

We’ve also updated the press page on the nC2 website to show these and other articles featuring nC2 architecture.

Park Slope Triplex - More Construction Progress

Some shots of the upper floor. Drywall is up and the play between the exposed brick party walls and the interior bedroom partition walls is becoming visible. Note how effective the addition of full-height interior glass panels is going to be with regard to bringing natural light into the interior office/library/stair space at the center of the building.

Gowanus Townhouse Demo

After a long permitting process (described in an earlier post), demo has finally begun on our townhouse project in Gowanus. This project involves the combination of two units of a 3-family building and the installation of a cantilevered steel deck on the rear of the 2nd floor. The pictures below show ceiling demolition in preparation to install the new framing for the stair opening.

Brooklyn Heights Duplex Demo

Demolition began last week on our Brooklyn Heights Duplex project on Montague Street. We are combining two apartments with a stair and double height dining space. The upper level had been an abandoned construction site for some time now before being purchased by our client, the owner of the unit below it. The images below are of the upper level, which will be converted to two bedrooms, a “man cave” and a dramatic gallery overlooking the dining space below. The lower level has not yet been demolished; that floor will be open-plan kitchen, dining and living spaces. 

Newswalk Lobby at Night

Now that it’s almost finished, the Newswalk Lobby looks amazing at night:

Newswalk Condominium Lobby Renovation Almost Finished

Some photos of the Newswalk Lobby taken at our site visit on this glorious sunny day. We can now begin to see how dramatic the transformation of the space is. Our use of a muted palette and a few select minimalist design elements greatly enhance the appearance of the existing, remaining components. This is especially noticeable with regard to the exposed structural steel, which was previously lost in the over-exuberance of the original design.

Brooklyn Heights Apartment Combination Approved by DOB

Fresh on the heels of our Gowanus Townhouse approval yesterday is a DOB approval for combining two apartments on Montague Street. This project turns a small two-bedroom apartment into a luxurious three-bedroom duplex with a dramatic double-height space. Construction should be starting within days.

Gowanus Townhouse Project Approved by DOB

Finally.

It’s been a long haul to get this project approved. We are converting a three-story, three-family, townhouse to two-family, creating an owners duplex out of the lower two floors. We ran into what has been described by one official as a “glitch” in the code. The issue of contention: DOB was requiring a sprinkler system to be installed throughout the entire building, despite the fact that the scope of work is relatively limited. This official told us that there was never an intention that alterations of this scale, to a building of this size, trigger the requirement to install a full sprinkler system.

We needed to obtain a reconsideration from the Deputy Borough Commissioner at DOB and, for that, needed to obtain a variance from the Fire Department. Due to multiple layers of bureaucracy, the delay was considerable; however, we were able to obtain both DOB reconsideration and FDNY variance and have the project approved without the sprinkler requirement.

Despite the fact that the process was tedious, we like to regard this as a valuable learning experience. The new Building and Fire Codes are very stringent with regard to sprinklers and architects are going to need to get used to sprinklering smaller projects which never before required sprinklers. We recognize the safety advantage of fully sprinklered buildings, but for some of our projects, the cost associated with the installation of such as system is not proportional to the budget and project scope. Being able to balance cost/scope vs. additional fire safety, and get Buildings and Fire officials to agree with us, has been an invaluable skill we have obtained through getting this project approved.

More details with regard to the sprinklering requirements in the new codes will follow sometime in the near future.