An addition on a brownstone roof presented opportunities—a spatial contrast to the spaces below, and four exposures with corresponding opportunities for light and views. The rooftop offered what was essentially a new ground plane, out of sight from street-level occupants and therefore free to respond to internal needs rather than external, contextual considerations.
Zoning allows for an 18-ft high addition set back 15 feet from the street façade. To maximize the allowable buildable area, the addition cantilevers
3 feet over the rear façade, opening to views up and down the inner block. The random geometric landscape view from the roof contrasts with the ordered street facades below. In order to capture views and light from all directions and all times of day, the mass of the zoning envelope is carved to form geometric crenellations, giving each interior space multiple exposures.
Windows are positioned to allow light to enter not only from the front, back and sides, but also directly from the sky. The movement of light is choreographed throughout the day.
Orientation, scale and the movement of the sun create changing light conditions animating the interior spaces. Each space has an aperture oriented to a particular view, set in time and place. Occasionally the light and view openings are coincident.
PROJECT TEAM: Timothy Bade, Jane Stageberg, Martin Cox, Prashant Prabhu
Left: Installation of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs); Right: Sun Path Diagram and Zoning Envelope