Kenig Residence / Slade Architecture

Architects: Slade Architecture
Location: Brooklyn, New York,
Client: Ricky Kenig
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Jordi Miralles

We renovated this entire brownstone, completed in 2007 for NYC pillar and father of three daughters, Ricky Kenig, the owner and personality behind the Ricky’s NYC stores. Ricky was interested in creating a modern heaven for his family, in a beautiful Brooklyn brownstone: a place that offered private retreat spaces as well as open mixing spaces to spend time together.

The program of spaces was organized by floor. The basement was finished to become a casual family den-type room with a pool table and couches, etc. The ground floor level was opened up to become a loft-like living room and kitchen with an exterior wood deck floating outside, over the backyard. The second floor became the girls’ floor with bedrooms, a study, kid-lounge and bath. Bachelor retreat was the idea of the third and top floor, with a home office, bedroom and bath.


Tying the home together, the stair acts as a spine from basement to third floor. We were interested in allowing this to read as a distinct element and so structured it to rise free of the adjacent walls. A new skylight was inserted into the roof, above the stair, accentuating the vertical rise and bringing natural light down into the home. The wall behind the stair was finished with sheets of blackened steel that run continuously from the parlor level to the roof. Display elements can be easily affixed to the wall using magnets. By creating an entirely flexible “canvas of metal” we offered a space with infinite possibilities for visuals. The flexibility of the magnet wall fosters the creation of zones organically, as people affix items of interest to them at their own floor-alternately the entire stair could be rigorously curated. We felt that the flexibility of the display wall mechanism was appropriate particularly for a family so rooted in a retail tradition.

In the kitchen, the color palette is focused on black and silver. Countertops are Absolute Black granite with a laminate on upper cabinets and island that features an abstract aluminum pattern on a black background. Mid level cabinets and security doors are aluminum sheet, with a custom pattern of circles and ovals that creates an optical illusion that the sheet is bowed out when in fact it is entirely flat. The pattern was designed by and water jet cut into the panel.

The girls’ floor offers real flexibility as the rooms can be opened or closed with large sliding doors. In the open configuration, the entire floor is open-like a loft space. By closing the doors, the girls can create a traditional closed bedroom space. The bathroom on this floor has a playful tile combination that mixes graphic tiles of a grass lawn with green glass cobbletones tiles.

At the top floor, we designed a retreat for Ricky. There is a home office and extensive closet/dressing area as well as bedroom and bathroom. An extensive collection of rare shoes is featured prominently immediately adjacent to the stair entry on the floor, below the skylight. We felt that it was such a committed interest that the collection should receive a preferential place in this private zone. The “shoe wall” as we called it became an important personal expression as well as a unique decorative element.

Cite: "Kenig Residence / Slade Architecture" 01 May 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 21 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Extensive collection of rare shoes?! It is time for a financial crash, isn’t it.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    “a modern heaven for his family” I was not aware that heaven could be stylized. That kitchen looks nasty. Who would want to cook in there?

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    House for person with compulsive shopping syndrom…here come’s the tsunami…bring on the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse, im ready for my trial…the white,the red and the black have arrived…waiting for the pale one

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    to me, Slade architecture stopped evolving from their earlier fashion as soon as Slade and Minsuk Cho(current head of mass studies) split the office. Mostly doing residential renovations now days.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    i like the rain of pictures by the stairs, where your moving throught getting memory splashes.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Not a fan of this. Agree with the store retail like quality of this space. Not in a good way either.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I must say I agree with archdork. I’m afraid of what that makes me, but I agree none the less…

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Aside from the photos next to the stare, the place looks sterile and cold, not like an ideal residence at all.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    that is the bester choiced idear for the background of the stair and with that way’s we will show every pictures that couln’t album for to keep them…..hehehehe

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    i have a problem with my college, can you help me? please send to me by email floor to floor detail section, i have a problem to set air condition central mode in ducting.

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