Structural EngineerRobert Silman Associates, Scott Hughes, Associate
General ContractorOwner and Bill Witt
Text description provided by the architects. Rather than an addition, our concept was for a thin, linear framed garden pavilion set in contrast to the heavy masonry brownstone. The 19th century brownstone remains exactly as it was, while the new pavilion, with kitchen and informal social space, sits alongside, up against the original backyard wall with no mediating connection. Entering the pavilion from the house's parlor floor feels like stepping into the garden.
The hybrid wood/steel framing members form a lattice-like structure open to the changing seasonal landscape of Brooklyn rear yards. The angled transparent and translucent glass planes pick up the landscape in shifted reflections, heightening views with diffuse and reflected light. Large windows pivot open, further shifting the planar glass composition and expanding the boundary between inside/outdoors. The parlor-floor kitchen with white-stained ash cabinetry connects via an open stair down to an oak-lined music room with sliding glass walls opening out to the garden. The clients are a poet, attorney/advocate and their two teenage daughters.