This October, Dwell and New York Magazine collaborated to launch the City Modern Home Tours - daylong events in both Manhattan and Brooklyn that permitted attendees to self-tour a selection of New York City’s most impressive modern architecture. The Brooklyn tour took us on a journey through 2 homes in the borough’s elegant Brooklyn Heights and Boerum Hill neighborhoods, and we were astonished at both their beautiful interior designs and their efforts to reuse on-site materials and experiment with alternative eco-conscious materials during their renovations. Click through our photo gallery to see all of our pics.
The Willow Street Residence, a renovated townhouse with a historic façade was located on a quiet, tree-canopied street. This site had gone through several architectural changes before architect Robert Kahn’s renovation. Once a horse stable, and then 7 separate apartments, the home features a design that preserves its unique history by including some of the previous materials. Stable horse rings still grace the exposed brick walls, and the wooden beams that once separated the home into separate apartments have been salvaged to create the dining room table and the wooden ledge that accents the living room’s lounge area. The garden areas, landscaped by Susana Drake, also salvaged on-site materials during the renovation, while the pea gravel and plants have created a permeable surface to absorb surface runoff into the NYC ground water system.
The renovated Boerum Hill rowhouse was designed by the homeowner himself, architect Jordan Parneass. When Parneass and his wife, artist Melanie Crean, purchased the turn-of-the century rowhouse in 2004, the interior was so dilapidated that it required a complete gutting and makeover. Luckily, the two had plenty of creative inspiration for the task. Making use of every square foot, the home’s very functional design includes split level work/lounge spaces, plenty of contemporary art and striking furniture, and a rear façade with floor to ceiling windows to capture plenty of natural light. Additional environmentally conscious design features include the warm bamboo floorboards and paperstone kitchen counter, which visitors marveled at for its soft matte touch.
The juxtaposition of preserved, historic facades with modern interiors and environmentally conscious design details left us very impressed with the City Modern Home Tours collaboration. We hope Dwell and NYmag will join together to bring New York more examples of smart, sophisticated city design once again in the future! For now, those of you lucky enough to live in the Silicon Valley or San Diego have a chance to see the City Modern Home Tours for yourselves this November.