Mark Dixon Architect    130 Kane Street  Brooklyn, New York  11231   /   718.974.4498   /   md@markdixonarchitect.com

Rowhouse Brooklyn NY

Featured in Dwell Magazine,
March 2011.

This is my own house and office in Brooklyn, a gut renovation of an existing townhouse whose interior had been partially renovated in the 1960s. I designed the new interiors and executed the work as general contractor.

The building is in a historic district, so I decided to simply restore the facade.

The interior design concept was to clarify the primary elements of the building by giving each one a unique and consistent material identity.

photo: Matthew Williams

Rowhouse Brooklyn NY

The kitchen and adjacent dining room are the heart of the home and were designed to be efficient and cheerful. The suspended glass-fronted cabinet is accessible from both sides.

Visual warmth was important here and throughout the house. The counters are white acrylic, the cabinets are ash veneer, and the backsplash is back-painted glass. The refrigerator was faced with cork tiles left over from the floor installation.

large photo: John Curry Studio
small photo: Matthew Williams

Rowhouse Brooklyn NY

I decided to reserve the parlor floor as a space for quieter and more formal activities, which was most likely its original function.

The existing knotty pine sub-floors were refinished and left exposed. New clear pine ceilings provide a pleasing foil for the cool gray plaster walls.

photo: Matthew Williams

Rowhouse Brooklyn NY

The stair hall is illuminated by a skylight. Transoms above all doors mean that artificial light is rarely required during the day.

Some walls are finished with a burlap tack-board for changing displays, others are given bold colors.

right side photo: Matthew Williams

Rowhouse Brooklyn NY

The master bedroom has one burlap display wall and one wall of full-height closets and drawers.

The master bathroom has pale green Heath tile framed by solid ash trim. Each bathroom has a different tile pattern and color.

photo: Matthew Williams

Rowhouse Brooklyn NY

The light and open top floor studio is the culmination of the house. An original low dropped ceiling was removed so that the new wood ceiling could follow the slope of the roof. It is seven feet high at one end and ten feet high at the other.

photo: Matthew Williams

Rowhouse Brooklyn NY

The stair is a folded steel plate turned into a truss by welding thin tubes to the bends. It is held off the plaster wall to allow light to play around the edge.

Instead of a banister, I created a floor-to-ceiling screen of steel rods that also supports the maple handrail.

Rowhouse Brooklyn NY

The first and second floor plans show clearly how the natural division of the townhouse type into a “stair zone” and and “open zone” is developed and enhanced.

Rowhouse Brooklyn NY

The third and fourth floor plans continue the theme. The small rooms at the front are a nursery and a guest room. The bedrooms are separated by a walls of storage cabinets.

Rowhouse Brooklyn NY

This cross-section through the building shows all the main spaces.