Context: In the late 1800s this central city block was subdivided into lots one quarter the typical size to construct compact homes for immigrant workers. As time passed the resultant row houses morphed into an eclectic mix of single family homes, each assuming their own distinctive styles through in-cohesive additions and alterations. Concept: The original building on the property was structurally unsound and dismantled to its foundation creating a blank canvas to explore a modern interpretation of the terrace row house. As both architect and future homeowner, the design/ build process began with the deconstruction of the terrace row house typology. The traditional row house model was reconfigured to address context, site constraints and spatial requirements. To maximise the allowed volume on the compact footprint, the required program was stacked on 3 floors. The feature stair on the eastern wall acts as a vertical corridor or spine connecting the 3 levels. Form: Form follows function. The brick base serves to materially anchor the building to the terrace row while screening the interior living space from the vibrant street. Above eye level a literal separation of old & new is created by a continuous glass band allowing rectilinear cedar clad volumes to float off the end of the terrace row. Landscaped enclosures & roof areas create an airy open living experience while maintaining privacy. Building elements serve dual purposes in many cases. The ‘pod-like’ bay extensions for example maximize the interior space of the family room and master bedroom while providing passive solar shading on the exterior. The external privacy screen for the 2nd floor bedroom serves its primary purpose while aesthetically enlivening the whole facade. While the overall composition is carefully considered and responsive to function it appears playful and dynamic.
Minervini-Vandermark, LLC is a New Jersey based architecture firm whose work ranges from large high-profile residential and mixed-use projects to, highly detailed interior commercial renovations. Working in New York, New Jersey and the wider Tri-State area, M.V. architecture has gained extensive understanding of the specialized building process and growing demands of the region. Combining this technical knowledge with our commitment to bringing imaginative and innovative design to every project, Minervini-Vandermark has quickly acquired the reputation of a cutting edge firm capable of providing a quality product to our clients.