Architects: Nandinee Phookan Architects
Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA
General Contractor: Giovannitti, LLC
Structural Engineer: Pennmax Engineering
MEP Engineer: Clifford Dias Engineering
Stair Manufacturer: Product and design metalwork
Project area: 3,700 sq. ft.
Project year: 2008 – 2010
Photographs: Tom Judge Photography
The Eagle Warehouse at 28 Old Fulton Street in Brooklyn Heights is a nineteenth century loft building that was converted to residential use in the 1970s, incorporating a mix of duplexes and triplexes each with a unique floor plan. This project encompasses the renovation of a 3,700 sf. residence off of the building’s main lobby, which combines two older, conventional duplexes into one open, minimalistic space for the new single family owner.
The demolition of non load-bearing interior walls revealed the structural shell of the duplex, and the design was conceived as an intervention within this existing structure. The formal strategy for this residence was developed around the interplay of solid and void. At the central structural bay, the floor was removed at the main level, creating a void outlined by the columns at the corners and a continuous glass railing. A sculptural spiral staircase occupies this negative space, which brings light to the recreational spaces at the cellar level. A counterpoint to the void is provided by an adjacent solid, which houses the kitchen and bathroom spaces and separates the private bedrooms from the public areas of the apartment.
On the main level, the floor was removed at the central structural bay to create a void that brings daylight into the cellar level. A sculptural spiral staircase (constructed using steel and wood) occupies the negative space of the void, connecting the two levels of the duplex. The kitchen and bathroom spaces are housed within a central volume, which separates the public and private areas of the duplex.
This project reinstates and embodies the inherent industrial character of the Eagle Warehouse building through the creation of an open floor plan, the exposure of the original brick walls, and the careful use of industrial materials throughout the duplex. In addition to the exposed blackened steel, stainless steel, and glass at the central void, rich natural textures are integrated throughout the space, such as deep oak wood floors and limestone flooring and slabs.