RESIDENTIAL / HARLEM
Bradhurst Avenue

At first glance, the Bradhurst Avenue property appeared more junkyard than home. Discarded materials lined the basement where loose wires dangled near rows of exposed fiberglass insulation. Outside, edges of ominous granite bedrock peeked out from under layers of dirt and debris, casting doubt on the possibility of an enjoyable backyard. To add insult to injury, the entire rear wall of the home wasn’t properly tied into the home's infrastructure. Despite the magnitude of these obvious challenges, the Projects team envisioned a home unlike anything ever seen in Harlem.

SERVICES:

permits-icon.png Expansion

permits-icon.png Architecture

permits-icon.png Planning

Harlem's First Glass Curtain Wall

Instead of fighting the granite, it would become the home's de facto focal point, and the rundown interior would become an exciting foray into modern design. The team first addressed the crumbling rear façade, which would become a custom glass curtain wall serving as the backdrop for a double-height sitting room and the master suite above. This massive wall provides copious amounts of natural light throughout the home while capturing the gorgeous backyard and neighborhood views on three levels.

The team decided to break up the backyard space into multiple levels by placing pavers just outside the garden level to form an inviting patio. Now, IPE stairs lead the way around the granite outcropping to an upper level sundeck and turf lawn. This new incarnation of a former junkyard space creates a number of varied settings for relaxing and entertaining, bordered by an impressive rear rock wall and IPE fencing at each side.

Custom kitchen renovation
Manhattan outdoor space

Once the major challenges of the rear yard and façade were addressed, the team set about creating interiors that would complement and enhance these focal points. One might think that a move toward modern would be simpler than restoring ornate architectural fixtures, but it’s actually more difficult since details can’t hide behind casings, ceiling medallions or crown molding.

In historic homes, these decorations act as ornate artwork to captivate the attention of those who pass through. When most of the original details were lost at Bradhurst, the team was intent on finding a way to turn this home into a masterful piece of craftsmanship.

Cantilever staircase construction

Functional & Elegant Transformation

To accomplish this goal, the team transformed the staircases at Bradhurst into functional works of art. Using precise lines and custom millwork, the space beneath the stairs on the garden level became convenient storage. Upstairs, a separate staircase, cantilevered from the adjacent wall, seems to float in midair while it’s blackened steel, wood and glass handrail blends perfectly with the surrounding design. Ascend the floating stairs to arrive at the spectacular master suite. Here, the rear curtain wall provides breathtaking, floor-to-ceiling views, acting as yet another massive art piece in this tranquil retreat.
Historic property renovation
Through ingenious planning, smart design and dedication from the Projects team, this stunning home bears little resemblance to the decaying shell that once (barely) stood in its place.