Architensions clads Brooklyn townhouse in charred wood

Architensions clads rear facade of historic Brooklyn townhouse in charred wood

New York studio Architensions has enlarged a Brooklyn townhouse by adding two boxy volumes clad in vertical slats of burnt wood (+ slideshow).

Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock

The Blurring Boxes Residence is located in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Greenpoint, an industrial area where fashionable restaurants and condominium buildings are starting to emerge.

Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock

Brooklyn-based Architensions renovated an apartment that occupies the garden level and first floor of the four-storey townhouse, adding a pair of volumes to the back of the building constructed in the 1890s.

Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock

The studio clad the new additions in vertical wooden slats that were charred using the ancient Japanese technique of shou sugi ban. It also sheathed the entire rear facade in burnt wood.

Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock

The addition features an exterior stair that leads to an elevated deck and a fire escape.

"Two main pavilions have been juxtaposed to the existing building, set up in a way to have an unobstructed view of the garden through the windows and also blurred views," the studio said.

Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock

One volume contains part of the apartment's kitchen and is dedicated to "smelling and tasting experiences". It features countertops made of cast concrete, and shelves and cabinetry fabricated from birch plywood.

Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock

The other volume is devoted to "sound and vision" and houses a room for artwork, books and a film projector. The architect installed wooden shelves and cabinets, and fitted the space with a minimal amount of furnishings.

Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock

Natural light streams into the volumes through small windows and skylights.

Beyond the extension to the building, the architect fully renovated the garden level and updated the parlour floor.

Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock

The studio replaced kitchen and bathroom countertops and installed new lighting fixtures. Slate flooring was used throughout the bottom level.

A stairway between the two storeys features a charred-wood wall with embedded light boxes.

Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock

Last year, the studio completed a tiny, cedar-clad writer's studio in the backyard of the dwelling.

Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock

Other Brooklyn townhouse projects include a Park Slope residence clad in corrugated sheet metal by Etelamaki Architecture and a series of skinny townhouses in Dumbo by the firm Alloy.

Photography is by Cameron Blaylock.


Project credits:

Design architects in charge: Alessandro Orsini & Nick Roseboro
Project architect: Richard W. Off
Project team: Rodrigo Gonzalez, Giorgia Gerardi

Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock
Design diagram – click for larger image
Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock
First floor plan – click for larger image
Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock
Section one – click for larger image
Blurring Boxes residential extension in Brooklyn, New York City, USA by Architensions. Photograph by Cameron Blaylock
Section two – click for larger image