Overlay Office renovated a 19th century New York City townhouse to create House Offset. The South Slope, Brooklyn condominium uses classic design and sustainable materials that reinvent and enhance popular contemporary renovation methods. It has more natural light, open floor plans that maximize interior space, and outdoor spaces for each apartment.
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While the house underwent significant internal changes, much of the exterior design was left in place to preserve the building’s relationship with its surrounding neighborhood context. The front facade is painted in two shades of black, with round arches over some of the windows. This feature is a callback to scalloped windows and roofs that are common in the neighborhood.
1903 New York house receives an eco-friendly makeover
The lower third of the street-side facade is clad with Shou Sugi Ban, a charred wood cladding that offers resistance to weather and pests. This visually complements the black brickwork above. The stairs at the entrance dispense with traditional materials and instead reinforce the color scheme of the front facade with dark terrazzo stairs.
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House Offset’s residential units include two bedrooms, one and a half baths and spacious living spaces. Each apartment also has a private outdoor deck with patterned tiles, artificial turf, and powder-coated metal railings. On the ground floor, the patio leads into the back yard, while on the upper floor the residents have access to the roof terrace.
The primary interiors are black and white and serve as an elegant monochrome backdrop for colorful and richly patterned furniture and furnishings. Overlay Office worked closely with suppliers to achieve bespoke architectural details. These include suppliers such as Durat for the solid surfaces made of 100% recycled plastic “Terrazzo” and Watermark Brooklyn for the colored sanitary installations for the kitchen and bathroom. The designers also resorted to the wave pattern of the front facade for the interior details, which range from the rounded edges of the solid surfaces to the barrel vaults.
Overlay Office challenges the ubiquitous renovation aesthetics through well thought-out design decisions in the project. The attention to materiality and strong patterns and colors accentuate the town house without sacrificing elegance. Instead of a conventional renovation project, the simple but effective adaptations expand the vocabulary of the building and create a comfortable space for the residents.
+ Overlay office
Images by Ryan Lahiff, courtesy of Corcoran