Located in the Park Slope neighbourhood, the Passive House project involved the overhaul of a brick-faced, three-storey townhouse built in the early 1900s.
New York-based Sarah Jefferys Architecture + Interiors sought to create a tranquil living atmosphere with elements that pay homage to the family’s Indian and Danish roots.
Moreover, the team wanted the 3,000-square-foot (279-square-metre) building to achieve Passive House certification, a distinction awarded to buildings that are highly energy efficient.
To significantly reduce heating and cooling needs, the team installed triple-pane Zola windows, which are often used in passive houses.
While the front facade was kept intact, the rear wall received ample glazing. To provide privacy and to modulate the incoming daylight, the team added an artful cedar screen that acts as both “a sculpture and a veil”.
Within the slender home, the team incorporated pops of colour and pale materials such as white oak.
“We strategically used light hues and reflective materials, and created an airy environment to offset the narrow footprint of the townhouse,” the team said.
The ground level has an open plan and holds the communal spaces.
A working fireplace, an element not often found in passive homes, sits between the living and dining areas.
“The light cove acts as a separation point – an outline – and provides an atmospheric glow throughout the kitchen,” the team said.
In addition to the special lighting, the kitchen features slatted wooden cabinetry, yellow pendants by Louis Poulsen, and an island topped with Glassos crystallized glass.
Part of the island consists of a live-sawn slab of white oak, which is lined with bar stools.
“The beautiful juxtaposition between Glassos and white oak exemplifies the nature of the kitchen as both a practical work area and a leisurely lounge space for entertaining,” the team said.
A sky-lit staircase leads to the upper levels. The first floor holds the main bedroom and bathroom, along with an office – all of which are arrayed along a corridor lined with frosted glass.
The main bedroom features a BoConcept bed, sconces by Robert Dudley Best for Bestlite and a graphic blanket by Pia Wallén for HAY. The bathroom is adorned with matte glass and penny-round tiles from Ann Sacks.
The office is infused with a “touch of nostalgia”. Pieces include a Hans Wegner armchair, a teak Danish dresser and a 1962 copper pendant by Jo Hammerborg.
The top level contains a den and two additional bedrooms. The house also has a cellar.
Other Brooklyn townhouses include a house by Space4Architecture that has a skylit staircase and minimalist decor, and the family home of architects Fanny and Matthew Mueller, which features floating steps and a wood-and-steel bridge.
The photography is by Sarah Jefferys Architecture.
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