Additions & Alterations

242 South 1st

Project Manager/Designer: Tamar Kisilevitz, Stephen Conte

Completion Date: August 2007

Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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This project is an adaptive reuse and gut renovation of an existing abandoned cheesecake factory in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. It is situated among two and three story buildings. The mustard yellow cast stone and concrete framed structure is in excellent shape, and lends itself to a simple residential conversion with large windows and 11 foot ceilings. The scope of work includes relocating the existing stair core and adding a public stair, and opening up previously closed in masonry openings.A new glass and steel penthouse floor shall be added on the roof to create top-floor duplex apartments, and will provide access to large private terraces and magnificent views of Brooklyn.Our design retains the building’s original industrial character, dating back to 1911, but gives it a residential edge with transparent glass railings on new discrete balconies, and the substitution of the existing loading docks with an access ramp at street level.The building shall remain in its existing color, and the caste iron cornice and first floor façade shall be dark grey.The alteration of the building in compliance with Article 7B of the New York Multiple Dwelling Law permits a new penthouse addition on the roof, which redefines the base and main portion of the building as a three-part façade and completes the building visually by creating a new addition that echoes the classical first floor façade in color and massing but uses glass and steel as a modern expression.

West 124th Street

Project Manager/Designer: Eugene Drubestskoy

Completion Date: June 2008

Location: Harlem USA

Visit: http://blessoproperties.com

Originally built in 1906 as a warehouse for the Koch Department Store on 125th Street, the building was once connected to the store by an underground tunnel. The building was also home to a speakeasy, frequented by the renounced jazz acts of Harlem nearby Lenox Lounge. Loft 124 features historic touches such as an exquisite reflecting pool set within a 40-foot void where the original elevator once was.Loft 124's vast industrial interior has been meticulously reconfigured into 21 residences, all featuring fireplaces and direct elevator access. The one-bedroom and two-bedroom units range in size from 960 to 2000 square feet. In addition, Loft 124 has two penthouse apartments and two residences with 25-foor high ceilings.The units at Loft 124 are bathed in light from four directions, and all but three have private balconies.

Canvas of Greenpoint

Project Manager/Designer: Robert M. Scarano jr.

Completion Date: Under Construction

Location: Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Visit: www.canvascondos.com

painted glass vanities, white painted brick walls and high ceilings.The interior design for this new 18 unit development includes kitchens, bathrooms, master bathrooms, public corridors and the entrance lobby.It comes from existing site images that create a fantasy out of an urban condition.For the apartment interiors, white washed bamboo floors are proposed, to compliment the clean line European white lacquer cabinetry, back-painted glass vanities, white painted brick walls and high ceilings.

66 North First Street

Project Manager/Designer: Roberto de los Rios

Completion Date: Under Construction

Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Smith Gray Building

Project Manager/Designer: Robert M. Scarano jr.

Completion Date: April 2004

Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Visit: http://www.hkorganization.com

Our design approach was focused in several areas, including a long process of selecting the most appropriate color for the restored facades, which has made the building extremely pleasing to the public.The apartment layouts take full advantage of light and air, and all mechanical and plumbing shafts were consolidated to create an environmentally conscious design.The addition of the penthouse floor brings this building to a total area of 60,000 square feet, with a construction budget was $4.5 million, at approximately $75/sf.The renovation of this distinctive building constituted the preservation of a Brooklyn landmark, and spurred the conversion and development of over 15 projects within a one block range. It has, in addition, managed to attract many young professional buyers to this rapidly gentrifying community by providing a luxurious lifestyle with state of the art interiors in a classical setting.

Silo House

Project Manager/Designer: Tamar Kisilevitz

Completion Date: 2001

Location: arroll Gardens, Brooklyn

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The design concept started from the analysis of the lifestyles of the two occupants; one welcomes people from the outside, but needs privacy once they are inside and the other is self-contained, but seeks stimulation from external sources.Inspiration was drawn from the inherent beauty and simplicity of the 6-inch thick exposed concrete walls, and the proximity to the canal and the Carroll Street Bridge as emotive elements, tying the project into a non-conventional landscape.The ultimate use of the space dictated varied treatments to the two silos; for the smaller one, partitions are removed from the perimeter to form a central service core, with the main spaces open to each other around the space.As the tanks were previously topless, a flat roof was built over the small silo that would provide a roof terrace for the writer’s studio, and a cylindrical sloping roof was built for the large silo with an elaborate ventilation system and wedge-shaped operable skylights that create a continuous flood of light overhead. Wooden rafters radiating from the centre outward provide the structure for the new roof.Prior to any construction, the silos were de-contaminated; thus, the structures were retained without having to provide additional exterior or interior coatings.Throughout the revamping of the once unused oil tanks, this project presents a successful new approach toward preservation of structures that might have otherwise been lost through unnecessary demolition.

'Sanctuary Condominium'

Project Manager/Designer: Eugene Drubestskoy

Completion Date: May 2008

Location: Fort Greene, Brooklyn

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The two attached four-story buildings have been designed to include 13 apartments, and each one utilizes an organic aspect of the church from the beamed ceilings throughout to the arches in the main sanctuary. A rooftop extension was designed to maximize the property’s potential while maintaining a discrete profile from the street.Originally built as Our Lady of Pillar Catholic Church in 1915, the church and attached rectory buildings have housed various churches over the years and were eventually abandoned by the last congregation in 2003. With the advent of a new use and purpose, the condominiums were completed with a refurbished façade that respects and maintains the quality of this landmark. With its new use, the building is being utilized again in a vital and dynamic way and the community is further reinforced.The main design concept was twofold: first, to create the conversion of a spiritual place into modern residences with full respect to their functional utilitarian needs; and second, to preserve the unique aura of the space and its surroundings. Together, these two concepts enable the new use of the old structure to become an organic part of the streetscape. During the course of the alteration, new light frame partitions and walls were introduced without compromising the original basilica structure, which remains the core of the entire building. In the lower floors, the former sanctuary space manifests itself in the form of exposed heavy timber beams. On the upper floors, original gothic roof rafters and braces are fully exposed, which, in combination with the rose stained glass windows, communicate each apartment’s unique grandeur.An abandoned church has a stultifying affect on its street, as well as the overall fabric of the neighborhood. The adaptive re-use of this building represents a substantial renewal of the community, encouraging future projects to respect existing buildings even when the option to tear down and rebuild exists. Creating a residential sanctuary in a former religious domain has provided a beautiful addition to its immediate area in historic Fort Greene.

Eldert Street Apartments

Project Manager/Designer: Tamar Kisilevitz, Stephen Conte

Completion Date: 2007

Location: Bushwick, Brooklyn

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Gut renovation of a previously abandoned four story and basement building, creating sixteen new apartments that respect the building's traditional style.

West 20th Street

Project Manager/Designer: Eugene Drubestskoy

Completion Date: November 2003

Location: Chelsea

Visit: www.blessoproperties.com

The owner of this Chelsea building wanted to maximize it's potential. Our solution was two triplex apartments, for which the fifth floor was gutted and renovated, and new sixth and penthouse floors were added.Breathtaking views of the midtown Manhattan Skyline and Empire State Building on one hand, and the picturesque neighborhood on the other were a guiding factor in the design, which was based on capturing views.In order to provide equal views to both apartments, they are built in a "zigzag" pattern rather than front and back apartments, resulting in equal exposures.A grand room with a kitchen, dining and living area is located on the fifth floor, with two bedrooms leading to a roof terrace on the sixth floor.Rather than a straightforward continuation of the existing 19 th century brick and fenestration rhythm, the addition creates a dialogue between its neighboring buildings by bridging them visually in height, materiality, and scale.Materials used include applied cement stucco, aluminum cladding, glass, and restored brick. The 2700 s.f. addition brings the building to 9500 s.f., at a total cost of $400,000.The exterior of the building introduces a breath of fresh air as the slanted window reflects the empire state building, and the new angled façade literally takes a bow to the neighborhood. On the interior, people standing inside the apartment can look down into the neighborhood and onto the skyline through a single opening, observing both the immediate context and the Skyline in a true hierarchy of views.

East 10th Street

Project Manager/Designer: Robert M. Scarano jr.

Completion Date: April 2002

Location: Greenwich Village-Manhattan

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Building an addition on the roof of an existing building takes a certain degree of expertise and after dozens of successfully completed projects the formula for success becomes simple.The structure that is added must act in as much an codependent fashion as possible not relying on the existing. New steel joists span across the existing roof to support the new floor its roof and create a new outdoor roof terrace.Set back from the facade of the existing building beyond the sight lines of pedestrian traffic allowed the addition to be easily approved by the landmarks presentation commission without a public hearing.Simple design and elegant lines come together to create a modest addition deserving of the building it was placed on.

Henry Street

Project Manager/Designer: Mary Butterworth, LEED AP

Completion Date: March 2004

Location: Cobble Hill

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The Reconstruction of this Italianate Row House dating back to 1852 presented an exercise in rehabilitation which had to satisfy the demands of the owner, the department of buildings and the landmarks preservation commission.Located in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn (one of the highest hills on Long Island) this multi-family building was in desperate need of a renovation. Most of the useful life of the major components had expired and in fact, the building was being warehoused for a future hospital site expansion.The owner, a prominent businessman and lover of antiquities helped spear head the creation of not only his families' duplex but six other rental apartments within the structure. Restoring its original appearance, maintaing many of the historic details and modernizing the building systems proved to be a successful combination that can be a model for renovation of similar sites.

East 51st Street

Project Manager/Designer: Robert M. Scarano jr.

Completion Date: April 2004

Location: Upper East Side - Manhattan

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This project is a gut renovation and 1-1/2 story addition to an existing 4-story brownstone on Upper East Side NY.Our goal was to achieve the maximum amount of apartments without compromising about the space quality of the existing envelope. In order to take advantage of limited fenestration in the front and rear, the apartments are designed to have narrow entrance ways with a tight core of kitchens and bathrooms, which gradually opens up to capture as much light and air as possible.The double height ceiling in the third and fourth floors is made to create flexible loft spaces. The large mezzanines in these apartments can be used as bedrooms, which have their own private bathroom.Brick exposed walls and a special attention to interior details give the finishing touch to these unique Upper East Side living experiences.

Court Street

Project Manager/Designer: Alex Zhitnik

Completion Date: June 2001

Location: Carroll Gardens

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This house is a prominent feature on a fringe block in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, where housing and commercial uses exist side by side as testament to a lifestyle which exists in New York City.The striking terracotta facade was carefully restored and preserved, and the addition on the second floor, in the rear, respects the sculptural nature of the building.In addition to creating the client's dream home, this renovation and addition has made a significant contribution in maintaining this picturesque block with its distinctive historic characteristics.It has resisted the local brick building, and while the house, gardens and interiors are concealed and private, the sculptural facade presents a public face for all to enjoy.