The reclaimed Redwood paneling within the entryway to 951 Pacific St. in Brooklyn welcomes visitors to the city’s first condo built to Passive House energy standards. The accent wall provides rich natural wood tones in a small but prominent entry vestibule, reflecting the quality and sustainability of the development project. R-951 is a project by Paul A. Castrucci Architects.
Rustic softwood floors seem like an unlikely choice for a classic Brooklyn Brownstone, which generally greets visitors with strip or plank Oak floors, or occasionally a rare Pine original, but the aged planks feel like a natural fit. The home was restored as a double duplex, with co-owners occupying each of the units. The floors were re-milled from a potato farms in Hadley, MA, with the original planks tongue and groove moulded at 5” widths, and long 10’+ plank runs. Along with their distinct virgin Hemlock grain, they retain an aged brown patina, original saw marks and a face nail pattern that is can be found in farm board planks. Wire brushed and finished, the floor unfolds with the charm and rich intricacy of an old map. The two units specified a slightly different surface – one ‘skip planed’ and the other left as-is – a subtle but ultimately defining quality of the separate spaces. This kind of design dialogue – rustic and refined, rural and city, lights and darks – seems to characterize the project, and perhaps the lives and values of the occupants, a mental health care professional and a staff person with the United Nations.
It may be easier for some to remain optimistic about the coming year, but renewal of American history, beauty, and sustainability is always at hand with antique and vintage lumber. Make American wood again…with a new table, shelving project or accent wall. 10% off in addition to overstock deals through the Jan. 20th.
African Ironwood, salvage from the South St., Seaport restoration, is among the hardest woods on earth. It’s more common in European Maritime Applications, but it’s also found in the depths of the Paris metro. It’s cellular structure makes it notoriously on stable at narrow thicknesses. here, it’s a striking detail and environmental statement at the threshold of a Brooklyn Brownstone.
If there was a reclaimed wood as emblematic of both the new and old Brooklyn, as the rusted steel that wraps the Barclays Center, it may be the salvaged brownboard that zig zags in a herringbone form through the corridor of the new nearby City Point development. Made from a range of different antique softwoods, reclaimed primarily in the NYC area – from a Western Beef in the Bronx to a Kosher dairy facility in Bushwick – it unfolds along the five hundred foot space in broad planks – 5/8” thick x 7” wide and 8’ long. Vaulted over thirty feet in the air, the woods express some of the same rustic elegance as a brownstone facade. Though unlike a tree lined row house block, the installation is in tension with the florescent lit space of commercial tiles and engineered panels.
An equal allure of reclaimed wood that defines the space uses a mix of salvaged and remanufactured woods from Sawkill Lumber for paneling – a patterned variation of widths and lengths made from potato farm grey board, cypress vinegar tank stock and the tropical hardwood of city boardwalks. The wash finish helps to further unify the woods as they parade across long wall stretches. Conceived by Gensler Architects, the new CityPoint is home to large and small retailers that include an Alamo theatre and Katz’s Deli.
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