12 foot wide house

12 foot wide house

Barker Freeman Design Office
New York, United States
Private Houses
Francis Dzikowski/OTTO

12 foot wide house

Barker Freeman Design Office as Architects

This 12 foot wide rowhouse for a family of four organizes life on four narrow but light-filled levels. A new open switchback stair located at the center of the footprint sets up a dialogue between the spaces in the front, which preserve elements of the original detail of the late 19th century house and the rear, which includes an addition with a full wall of storefront-system glass.

BFDO was approached by the clients, who are married professionals with two young children, to create an open, flowing living space that feels expansive despite the narrow dimensions. They liked the idea that the back of the house would be streamlined and modern and wanted to maximize the light that would enter the space, so we suggested using a storefront system with narrow sitelines for the rear facade. They also liked some of the original details of the house, including the vestibule door and the wood flooring, which included details like feature strips in the border patterns. The new stair was necessary because the existing stair had been a modification to the original and it was structurally unstable, so BFDO designed a switchback stair that would allow it to be compact in the center of the footprint and maximize the size of the rooms to the front and back. We organized their living spaces according to floor. The master suite above the parlor floor opens out onto a rear deck above the two story extension. The kids' suite is on the top floor with a shared bath opposite the stair.

Project team
Jérôme Seydoux - Pathé Foundation
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