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Greenpoint Townhouse

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This quintessential wood-framed Greenpoint townhouse was in need of a gut renovation to accommodate a family of three. The existing floorplan was subdivided into a warren of rooms with poor natural lighting and an awkward layout. By opening up the ground floor and creating a skylit double-height space at the stair core, AlexAllen was able to flood the interior spaces with light while also creating visual connections between floors. Attention to detail was important to both the architects and the owners; in place of more traditional moulding, reveals at baseboards and ceilings bridge these junctures. The materials sourced are muted but imbued with texture and nuance, meant to exist in their natural state without stains or plastic lacquers. This simple palette pairs well with the wood furniture built by the owner in his basement workshop.

The building was fully insulated, the structure reinforced, and party walls sealed up from the neighbors in order to eliminate fire spread hazards. A new HVAC system provides heating and cooling throughout, and all the windows were replaced. Three enlarged openings in the rear facade allow for access and views to the yard without requiring substantial and costly structural modifications. The result is an energy-efficient, hermetically sealed, modernized home.


Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Project Size

1500 SF



Photo Credit

Alan Tansey

A skylight brings light down through the enlarged stair opening. The door is original and was hand stripped by the owner. The treads and stair parts are simplified versions of more traditional elements.

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The kitchen cabinetry is a subtle gray to complement the hand-painted BDDW tiles. Custom wood shelving allows for display and materially ties the kitchen to the window surrounds. The Lina Bo Bardi- inspired stools were built by the owner.

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The ground floor remains open except for a volume that contains a bathroom, built-in kitchen cabinetry, and a bar adjacent to the dining room. This volume is further defined by the reveal at the ceiling. Custom oak millwork hides an undercounter refrigerator. 

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Oak-veneered doors with oak frames carry the palette from the kitchen and bar through to the second floor. A large hidden pocket door into the primary bedroom allows for unobstructed views throughout the entire second floor. 

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An existing skylight was utilized in the primary bath to bring natural light into a space that otherwise would have none. The shower ceiling angles to create a dramatic light tunnel. Zellige tiles pair nicely with Arabescato marble and a limestone floor. 

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