Situated on a 22’x100’ lot in North Brooklyn the original building was a one floor 2,200 square foot garage that proved to be a bit more challenging to convert than originally anticipated. New York City zoning requires new residential units to have a 30’ rear yard. However if you’re converting a space, as was the case for the atrium house, you can forgo the yard as long as you maintain the same square footage.
This small caveat allowed Liftin to add a second floor loft and catwalk that connects two second-floor outdoor spaces, located at each end of the building. In order to maintain, the same square footage Liftin removed 200 square feet between the living room/kitchen and the bedroom suite, which then became a quaint and totally private outdoor space — a luxury for anyone in an urban area.
Two large folding glass doors, one off the north end living room, the other off the south end bedroom, open up to the courtyard and a wall of windows contribute to the open fluidness of the home. An axis running between the wall of windows and the east wall of the building create the main circulation path. This wall, dubbed SpecialWall, is made of salvaged pine planks from Coney Island and becomes a surface for Burns to work on his music and art and display creative projects. Exposed lights made of plumbing pipes, designed by Liftin, shine down over the planks that are embedded with steel channel struts that allow for just about anything to hang freely on display. Liftin also had electrical plug molds installed in the SpecialWall to allow for electrical devices to be used along the entire corridor.
Liftin has created a beautiful urban oasis that reveals little to outsiders with its simplistic stucco façade. But as vines from a GreenScreen Wire begin to weave their way across the building, passers-by will soon have a hint of the home’s serene natural interior.
Images © MESH Architects