Text description provided by the architects. Our client asked us to build a home for himself, his wife and two small children, his younger brother and his wife, and their mother—the matriarch of the family. Our challenge was to design three homes under one roof, in a neighborhood of Queens which is defined by single family homes. We created three disparate dwellings with areas of connection and overlap that reflect the familial relationships.
We decided to create three disparate dwellings with areas of connection and overlap. The narrow slice at the front creates a triplex for the married couple; the client and his family occupy the rest of the first and second floors. The lower level, which opens up to the sunken terraced garden, is where the grandmother lives. With front doors only a few feet from each other, the brothers live as neighbors, and all of the spaces connect through the lower level; the ground floor family room and the outdoor pavilion are primary gathering spaces for the whole family.
Many of the elements in the residences are collaborations between our firm and the client who is a builder that specializes in residential construction. As part of our collaboration we re-purposed excess materials from other construction projects of his. For example, the stair treads are 6x12 engineered wood beams cut in half diagonally, and the dining room light fixtures in both dining rooms were designed by O'Neill Rose Architects from scrap metal pieces we found in our client’s workshop.