Situated in the neighborhood of Fort Greene in New York, this Brooklyn Townhouse is a restoration of a dilapidated-state dwelling found on the site. Ensemble Architecture took on the challenge of upgrading the building, by adding a new rear wall and a two-level extension at the back of the house. This addition connects to the living spaces above through interior steel and glass windows that resemble the ones found on the front facade. The interiors are warm and inviting, due to an inspiring array of materials and textures.
Natural elements were elegantly added to the design: “The doors at the garden open completely to create a seamless connection between the kitchen, dining level and the garden. Vines are planted in recessed planters along the two-story party walls in the dining room–an interior which was designed with the idea of being an indoor-outdoor space where the garden is welcome inside. The vines will cover the double-story party walls and will add an organic quality to all of the spaces that the dining room connects”, explained the architects. The top of the addition is a private master bedroom balcony, offering a perfect retreat for the inhabitants. [Photography courtesy of Ensemble Architecture]
These days, a building doesnt just have to look good, it should ideally be good for the environment too. A great example of sustainability spliced with style from the past few years is the M&S store at Cheshire Oaks Retail Park in Ellesmere Port, designed by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson.
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.