Fort Greene’s Brownstone House with Three Duplexes and a Private Suite

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A businessman based in Hong Kong purchased a brownstone house in Fort Greene, New York. It is for his family, consisting of three adult children, and for when he and his wife visit the country. That being the case, he approached Barker Freeman to design a house for his growing family. To meet the clients’ expectations, the firm proposed three duplexes and a private suite with a distinctive design for each member of the family.

The Brownstone House

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Deep blue entry doors will greet you in front of the house. It opens into a foyer with a blue handrail snaking up to the blue-fenced roof terrace. The same color is also used in the railing and stairs accessing the rear yard deck.

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Since the clients wanted a house with a private suite and three duplexes to accommodate their growing family, the firm created three additional stairs to connect the two floors in each unit. The new addition can also maintain a common access to the roof terrace, rear yard, and cellar.

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Each new stair is sculptural and programmatic focal points for each unit. They display distinctive elements and designs that provide seating and storage around and under them. The firm opted for a deep blue color as an organizing thread throughout the common space and within the units.

The First Duplex

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The first duplex is dedicated to the oldest daughter, a restaurateur, along with her husband and their child. They occupy the parlor, where the living room is located, and the second floor.

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The duplex comes with a large kitchen and dining room where the daughter spends the majority of her time when she is at home. Through this space, she can gaze at a rear deck through the tall windows.

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This duplex has an oak-clad straight-run stair that leads to the second floor. The stair forms a thick wall along the length of the floor plate occupied by storage space and an oak-lined desk alcove.

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Move to the second floor, there is a master suite with bathroom and office located at the front, while the child’s suite is at the back.

The Second Duplex

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The second duplex is occupied by the youngest who is a food entrepreneur and his partner, an artist. The second duplex consists of the third and fourth floors. The kitchen in this duplex is shared with his parents when they visit and occupy the suite in the rear section of the third floor.

The concept used to build this duplex is creating an environment where everything is on display. With that in mind, the firm went with open shelves of the lower and upper kitchen cabinets, showcasing a huge collection of cooking supplies and appliances which are usually used for the son’s experiments for healthy packaged food.

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The unit has painted and perforated steel staircase that will direct you to the second floor. It is located at the front and making room for dining area which is situated in the center. The stair creates a diaphanous railing and risers to let the light pass through the void. Under the stair, there is a window seat and reading nook which can be functioned as a living room.

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On the second floor, the firm installed a recessed aluminum track and bracket system merged with custom white oak shelves and surfaces lines the walls.

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With the arrangement, clothing, personal items, and books will be on display. Here is a gym room intact with the equipment. The space is shared with a full wall of books.

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Another stack of books is displayed on the custom-made white oak platform bed and headboard.

The Third Duplex

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The basement duplex is occupied by the other daughter. It displays a wide plank white oak surface with a wood volume inserted into the middle of the floor plate. The wood volume offers storage and access to the lower level. The volume also comes with a bench which flanks the opening to the stair.

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As opposed to other kitchen designs, one in this unit is simpler and minimalist with the neutral tone of white and silver kitchenware.

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Downstairs, you can see a wood-lined walk-in closet.

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The arched supports of the central foundation wall opens into a study and bathroom enclosed by custom mahogany doors.

Via Barker Freeman