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Bask in the Light

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

Living spaces often need to be livened up by the use of colour and light, this Brooklyn home captures the light in the most unique and subtle manner.

Photo courtesy: Amy Barkow

Barker Freeman Design Office is a multidisciplinary architecture and design firm led by Alexandra Barker, AIA, LEED AP. The firm employs material research, fabrication technologies and system integration strategies as generative tools in the design process to develop multivalent spatial solutions for public and private clients and to produce speculative research proposals.

BFDO has worked in the public and private sector on a range of projects that include ground-up private residences, interiors, and institutional and retail projects in the New York area, regionally, and internationally. The firm has engaged with a range of private and corporate clients including The Hudson Companies and Trinity Real Estate as well as developers for residential units in Inner Mongolia, China. Recent professional awards include AIA New York and AIA Brooklyn Queens Design Award Certificates of Merit for the Maple Street School. A speculative project, Chromatic Energy Landscape, was a finalist in the Land Art Generator Initiative and received an honorable mention in the Architizer A+ Awards.

On this particular project based in Brooklyn, United States, the firm was tasked to create a beautiful, livable space for a family. The clients, a couple with two children, had been living in their apartment for over a decade and decided it was time to renovate. Included in the project was a plan to convert a basement-level storage unit into a family room by adding a staircase at the end of an existing hallway to connect the two spaces together. The entry sequence was reworked to create a slate-tiled mud room that could contain coats, shoes, backpacks, and sports equipment for the family of four.

The strategy for the living spaces was to remove partitions and open up the kitchen to the living and dining rooms. A raised wood-clad ceiling separates the kitchen apart from the adjacent spaces. The creation of the mudroom allowed for a small office to be tucked into a corner of the dining room. A steel and glass partition creates a sound barrier while letting in light. Steel also wraps the structural column and appears again in the dining-room light fixture as well as in the form of a shelf above the kitchen counter.

The private spaces of the apartment are organized along a long wall painted a deep blue-gray. A new bath was added off the master bedroom, with both finished in shades of light blue and gray. The kids’ bathroom features another steel and glass enclosure, this time for the tub/shower, which is set between a black tile floor and ceiling. The kid’s bedroom at the end of the hall is painted in tones of lilac and gray with a large corner window seat.

Downstairs, the family room features a large sectional and built-in shelving for movie watching plus areas for laundry and storage. The overall modern, yet homely vibe of the space is only accentuated by the use of blue along the house with hints of yellow. The glass partitions have allowed the house to soak in the sunlight making it a rich space.

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