Dezeen Magazine

Park Slope condo becomes New York City's "largest mass-timber building"

Local studio Mesh Architectures has completed Timber House, a condominium in Brooklyn that developer The Brooklyn Home Company claims is "the largest mass timber building in New York City."

Timber House is made of glue-laminated timber, a type of structurally engineered wood used to make mass timber structures, and is the largest mass-timber project in New York City in terms of square footage and height, according to The Brooklyn Home Company.

It is also the first condominium project in the city to be built using mass timber, the developer said.

living room with wooden ceilings and skyline in background
The building has 14 condos

"Timber House started with the simple notion of creating a sense of life in a building, which engages, stimulates, and at the same time, calms us," said Eric Liftin, founder and principal of Mesh Architectures.

"The way we do that here is by using a plant as the primary building material."

The building's columns, beams and floor plates are all mass timber, while the core had to be made of concrete masonry because of city restrictions, the studio said.

hallway with minimal furnishings
The apartments stretch across the length of the structure

Timber House is located in the residential Park Slope neighbourhood in Brooklyn and comprises 14 condos that stretch from the street-side to the back of the building.

According to Mesh Architectures, the building was "constructed with passive house principles".

While not passive-house certified, it was built with solar photovoltaic panels on the roof to provide energy, and mineral wool and polyisocyanurate insulation to reduce the need for air conditioning.

Heating and air conditioning is provided by air-source heat pumps.

living room with wooden beam
The building was developed in collaboration with The Brooklyn Home Company

It also features passive house-quality windows with triple glazing, and the 10 parking spaces in its ground-floor garage each have an electric charging station.

The building's facade is characterized by a flat face made with Danish brick that, according to the team, was chosen to integrate the building into the mostly brownstone neighbourhood.

On the upper levels, the envelope is sculpted into jutting windows and recessed balconies with glass railings. The balconies' undersides are wooden, giving the exterior palette a touch of the timber within.

bedroom wooden beam
The floors are also made of wood

A rooftop terrace provides views of Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Inside, wooden walls and ceilings line the corridors, which have hexagonal tiling on the floor that was designed custom by Mesh and produced in Turkey.

The condos have 11-feet-tall (3.3 metres-tall) ceilings and feature exposed timber beams with LED lights that are integrated directly into the wood.

The timber beams also extend down from the ceiling to frame some of the walls and windows, providing insight into the building's structural makeup.

"The exposed wooden beams present in the home create a style reminiscent of city living in the 1960s and '70s when we picture those large loft-style residences, which is really special," said Bill Caleo of The Brooklyn Home Company.

"As a city, if we want to lower our carbon footprint we need to prioritize mass timber."

view brooklyn wooden beam
In addition to the ceiling and beams the condos have wooden accents

Flooring in the living areas is wood, while the kitchen is floored with white tile to match the white cabinetry – accented with natural wood tones – and a long, white island.

Other recently-announced designs for mass timber structures include the world's tallest timber building designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen and a Henning Larsen-designed Volvo experience centre in Sweden.

The photography is by Travis Mark

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