Space -- particularly outdoor space -- comes at a premium in New York City, and those who are lucky enough to have a backyard tend to take full advantage. Such is the case with this outdoor playhouse retreat, which was recently designed by Grant Davis Thompson for a private residence in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. The owner was looking to build a structure that would evoke "a small cabin in the woods" in his urban yard. To achieve that goal, GDT constructed a low-impact structure made from cedar and reclaimed materials that provides a space for both children and adults to play.
The new structure provides access to the garden, and it creates a new indoor space that can be used for a variety of activities. “We wanted to extend the living spaces into the backyard,” explains GDT owner Palmer Thompson-Moss. “The cedar fence and salvaged blue stone helped to achieve this.” The playhouse isn’t just for summer enjoyment; it contains a wood-burning stove to keep it warm in the fall and winter. The playhouse also features an indoor sandbox that is hidden under a trap door, as well as a small splashing pool that can double as a beer cooler.
GDT is a Brooklyn-based design firm that specializes in repurposing old spaces and materials. For the Clinton Hill playhouse project, GDT installed old lights that were salvaged from a WWII ship. “These materials were chosen for their honesty– gracefully changing with the elements and for being sourced in North America,” says Thompson-Moss.