In 1996 the owners purchased a house in Brookline that was divided into three apartments. They occupied the middle floor unit and rented the other two apartments. In 1999 they carried out a complete renovation of the attic level apartment in order to incorporate the space into their living space.
The existing space had the very unique, and wonderful, aspect of having four dormers, one on each side of the roof. There is one point in the new space where you can stand and see out all of the dormers at once. This gives the feeling of moving “in all directions at once,” a prerequisite to balance. Also, since the space has windows on all four sides, one’s awareness of the sun at the different times of the day is acute. Deborah, one of the owners, also likes the new perspective that the renovation gives her of the existing second floor space below. Looking down the new stair she is aware of both the added verticality of the space and of a newly perceived expansiveness of the existing second floor.
Last year I was invited back to do a re-design of their kitchen and this was completed at the end of 2011. The key to this design was a custom island that took on a curvilinear shape. The shape came about because of the overall space limitations of the space, yet this physical limit became the focal point of the design.