A Renovated Brooklyn Townhouse

clinton hill garden

Brooklyn is renowned for its red brick townhouses, full of character and history. Instantly recognisable by their dark, narrow façades and leading staircases, these townhouses are some of the most covetable in Brooklyn and hint at the borough’s history quite unlike any other type of residence.

This 19th century townhouse in the Clinton Hill neighbourhood is the perfect example of such a build, with its red brick exterior and brown-framed windows in keeping with its surroundings and heritage. Go inside though and it’s a different story. The house has been completely renovated by New York studio O’Neill McVoy Architects to add more light throughout, as well as giving it a contemporary feel.

clinton hill skylight

The build was formerly a carriage house to an adjacent mansion, which meant it previously had little access to natural light and the outdoors. In order to rectify this, the architects cut out portions of the second floor to create a skylight which provides light to the master bedroom, living room and library. At the centre of the home, a courtyard surrounded by glass doors was created; this now brings natural light into the centre of the home while also giving the family access to private outdoor space – which is further amplified by the roof terrace.

clinton hill library

As well as windows and skylights, the studio used the interior to create extra light. The wooden stairs are covered in a perforated stair wall, punched with holes that catch the light and create shadows on the adjacent wall.

To see more from O’Neill McVoy Architects, visit the studio’s website.

clinton hill 1

Words by Angharad Jones. Images by Michel Arnaud for O’Neill McVoy Architects

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert