PorcHouse

A project to rethink the front porch.

Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY

“Nobody thought much about the front porch when most Americans had them and used them. The great American front porch was just there, open and sociable, an unassigned part of the house that belonged to everyone and no one, a place for family and friends to pass the time.”
—Rochlin, The Front Porch, in Home, Sweet Home

This renovation project values the remaining character of the original structure and enhances it’s inherent traits – 20’ width, front porch, high ceilings and a south facing garden. The historic 1879 front of the Italianate wood frame house has a covered porch with original cornice and trim. Inside, the first floor is opened up to take advantage of the generous width of the house. The foyer and front room retain their historical character, with federal trim and an original decorative marble mantel. In the back, the figure of the original extension is expressed as a double-height space for living and dining. This creates a kind of ‘interior portico’ that is overlooked by a study/office above.

Project Info

  • Design 2014
  • Completion 2015
  • Size 2,560 sf
  • Collaborators Kristin Washco, Matt Young, Celin Munoz Consulting Engineers (Structural), D’Antonio Consulting Engineers (MEP), Great Will 88 Contracting, AD Line Millwork
  • More A dining room with a contemporary efficient wood burning stove is nestled underneath the extension. The south facing facade is opened up to the back deck and garden to bring bring in light and capture views of the sky and yard. Upstairs the original 1879 extension is wrapped by mitered artisan lap siding. The interior of this small house-within-a-house holds a private realm for the master bedroom with an en suite bathroom. A skylight bathes the ample shower room with light. Two additional bedrooms share a second bathroom that forms the second half of the central skylight vaulted volume. The project was designed with energy performance in mind. The back extension is self-shading in the summer, spray foam insulation was used throughout, and high performance windows, equipment, lighting and energy star appliances were specified.