524 State Street

Brooklyn

Solution

The concept of the renovation is to bring light into the building. Similar to the way sunlight filters through the branches of a tree, the existing staircase was opened and extended to enable natural daylight entering from the new rooftop skylight to stream down to the parlour floor. The staircase, like the trunk of a tree, serves public and private, indoor and outdoor areas at each level, held together by a central spine.

The openings of the southern façade were enlarged. Where wall were demolished, bricks were salvaged for new construction. Large floor to ceiling operable windows / patio doors were installed, and the depth of the wall were calculated to maximize winter solar gain, while shielding from strong summer sun and minimizing uncomfortable glare.

The staircase rises to the roof terrace, where breathtaking panoramic vistas of Brooklyn and Manhattan are framed by a lightweight steel structural trellis supporting high-performance photovoltaic panels, and shading the terrace. Transition / flow between inside and outside is smooth and gradual.

524 State Street is pursuing LEED certification. In addition to reusing the existing building and the salvaging of bricks, moldings, other sustainable measures include:
open southern facade, closed northern façade;
reflective-finish metal shingles at east and west facades.
high-performance spray-foam insulation, and mechanical systems
efficient fluorescent and LED lighting throughout.
interior transom windows for daylight penetration.
rooftop photovoltaic solar array.

524 State Street connects to the community through material conscious expansion. Its humble addition allows living areas to open up and connect with the historic downtown Brooklyn presence.

“… As much as the house has increased in usefulness, it has also increased in beauty; and the house has been shepherded into it’s next incarnation. This is exactly what I wanted, someone who could give the house (standing there nobly since the 1830’s) its due as both a home for a family and a piece of history moving into its future.” -Michelle Itkowitz (Owner)