The building was originally erected in the 19th century as a two-story firehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The sleeping quarters were on the 2nd floor while the horses and buggies were housed on the ground floor; when fire trucks replaced the buggies, the structure of the ground floor was upgraded.
The firehouse closed in the 1970s and became a sculptor’s studio until the current owner, a photographer, purchased it.
It was mostly dilapidated by then; the roof was falling apart and there were no fireman poles left. The project included the conversion of the ground floor into a photo studio and gallery space, and the second floor into living spaces for the owner, bedrooms for his daughters; a third story penthouse was added which includes the master suite, a lounge and a rooftop garden.
One of the main objectives of the project was to achieve a balance of privacy and natural light, which was accomplished by the addition of a light well that penetrates the house from the new third floor roof down to the center of the second floor, washing the kitchen in daylight.
A bridge passes through this sky lit space and connects the lounge to the master bedroom suite, around which a walled-in rooftop wraps around the corner of the penthouse to allow for rooftop strolls.
I do wish that some of the old charm of the firehouse could have been maintained ... or, at the very least, it came with an on-site fireman.