Space4Architecture adds dormer staircase to minimal Brooklyn townhouse


New York-based studio Space4Architecture brought natural light to a townhouse in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens neighborhood by adding a staircase topped with a skylight.


Called Verandah Place Townhouse, the Brooklyn home is a shed from the late 1800s – an outhouse originally built for horse-drawn carriages.

Verandah Place Townhouse has a minimal white staircase

Space4Architecture was commissioned to transform the interiors of the home for a family of five and their dog to create a comfortable and functional space with a minimalist design.

Several previous renovations had left the house without many of its original features, leaving only the red brick facade.

The townhouse is in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn
The Brooklyn House was built in the 1800s

“At the time of acquisition, the shed was entirely divided into small rooms and narrow corridors,” Space4Architecture director Michele Busiri-Vici told Dezeen.

“By working on horizontal and vertical planes simultaneously, we were able to free up interior space, creating a feeling of openness while ensuring the necessary number of pieces required by our client.”

The house is informed by the loft design
A skylight surmounts the staircase

Informed by New York lofts, the architecture studio wanted the externally narrow house to have an interior with uninterrupted flow.

“We created a four-storey loft,” Busiri-Vici explained. “We have juxtaposed a very private and traditional exterior with an extremely open, contemporary and welcoming interior.”

A staircase is one of the central elements of the townhouse
Light floods the house from the stairs

At the center of the townhouse opening was the insertion of a white staircase with oak treads and open risers, flanked on one side by plastered parapets.

Placed above a skylight and next to a large glass door, the stairwell adds natural light to the cramped building.

“The stairwell is the standout design feature of the house,” said Busiri-Vici. “It is a vessel of light and a continuous visual reference, both horizontally and vertically, throughout the house.”

A neutral color palette is maintained in every room at Verandah Place with soft white walls and built-in oak joinery. The floors are from the Italian brand Alpha.

Space4Architecture added custom joinery to the rooms
Interiors in white and oak are present throughout the house

The house’s white walls and pale oak floors are a strategy for maximizing light.

“The house doesn’t have windows big enough to bring in tons of natural light inside,” Busiri-Vici said.

“The immaculate plaster walls and ceilings and the soft white oak of the floor and joinery receive natural light and diffuse it throughout the house.”

Colorful furniture in the living room
Colored accents and steel fireplace in the living room

Touches of colorful furniture contrast with a blackened steel fireplace in the living room while delicate terrazzo tiles from Collaborative Concrete line the main bathroom.

“The townhouse design is minimal, clean and essential,” Busiri-Vici concluded.

Terrazzo tiles in the master bathroom
Terrazzo tiles in the master bathroom

Space4Architecture is a New York-based architectural design studio, founded in 1999 and run by Michele Busiri-Vici and Clementina Ruggieri.

The company completed a similar townhouse with a curved white staircase on the town’s Upper West Side.

The photograph is from Beatrice Pediconi.




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