Located in a historically protected, nineteenth-century grand mansion in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, the residence occupies two floors at the top of the building and within the roofline. Significant structural interventions were required to remove walls which would have formed a service apartment when the mansion was a single residence.
The lower floor is now an open-plan living area surrounded by discreetly incorporated service functions and storage elements. White oak wood floors and exposed blackened ceiling joists counter one another to highlight the perimeter wall surfaces, which contain both restored historical casement details, and distinctly modern cabinetry elements. A single monolithic black soapstone counter with integral sink is the sole architectural element set within this boundary framework.
On the upper floor, the two bedrooms and bathroom are reached via a staircase rebuilt using the same white oak wood, in a seamless continuation of the lower level. In the bedrooms, the roofline geometry is embraced as the primary architectural element in otherwise minimal open rooms with built-in closets.
Material selection and use throughout the project embrace the philosophy of wabi-sabi—including raw, unfinished floor joists, soapstone, oiled oak, handcrafted cement tiles and unlacquered brass fixtures.
“The dramatic ceilings connect you to the building and focus attention on the home’s location within the building roofline.”
— Simon Arnold
The original staircase was rebuilt in a seamless continuation of the white oak flooring used throughout the open-living area.
Large-format tiles clad the bathing area at the upper level.
“I will start by saying that "attention to detail" is a phrase heard constantly in design, but seldom witnessed. My wife and I watched first hand Simon’s astonishing level of detail given to our renovation in Brooklyn. From understanding our wants and needs from conception, to being present for every small detail, he exemplifies a person who possesses passion for the job at hand. In the end, the results speak for themselves, our home is adored by us and envied by others.”
— Patrick S, Client