Project Name: The Lowe House
Architect: Palette Architecture
MEP Engineer: RAAD Engineering
Structural Engineer: ID Engineering
Location: Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn, New York, United States
Completion date: 2022
Building levels 3
Photo Credits: Jody Kivort
Nestled in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, a block of captivating houses designed by Frank S. Lowe for the Kingston Realty Company in 1906 continues to charm residents today. Over the years, these houses have undergone transformations, culminating in their designation as landmarks in 1979. Among them, one residence had lost its way, masked by layers of paint and replaced doors and windows. Recognizing its hidden potential, the new owners turned to Palette Architecture to revive the house, merging contemporary design with restored historic charm.
Honoring the Past, Designing for the Present
Preserving the historical street front while infusing modern aesthetics was a key goal of the restoration. The primary facade underwent a meticulous renovation, removing layers of garish paint to reveal the inherent beauty of the terra cotta, white brick, and galvanized iron cornice. Careful consideration was given to the restoration of the windows and doors. A historically appropriate front door was salvaged and refurbished to its original glory, while the windows were thoughtfully restored and upgraded to enhance functionality and sustainability. Inside, the removal of interior partitions created an open plan that tastefully blended modern and historic architectural elements. Round bay windows flood the front section with natural light, while an angular bay window connects the rear to the tranquil garden. A new skylit staircase was introduced as a centerpiece, delineating the middle section. These meticulous restorations pay homage to the house’s past while seamlessly accommodating a modern interior.
A Harmonious Flow of Spaces
Organized into three levels, the Lowe house offers a seamless flow, weaving together past and present. The lower level caters to family activities and informal gatherings with a media room and guest room. The main entry floor showcases the house’s grandeur, featuring an open floor plan encompassing the living room, dining area, and kitchen. The east side boasts soaring ceilings, creating an airy ambiance, while the west side exudes intimacy. The main entry on the western side welcomes visitors with an intimate alcove that gracefully leads into the expansive living room. Continuing towards the central section, a dining area and staircase enhance the natural flow, culminating in a spacious kitchen at the rear. The kitchen boasts an oversized eat-in island flanked by ample storage and a cozy nook for displaying utensils and cookbooks. Ascending to the top floor reveals an open central workspace encircled by three luxurious bedrooms. Natural light floods the space through a skylight, fostering a serene and inspiring atmosphere.
Expression of Individuality
Designed for a contemporary family, this residence strikes a balance between functionality and elegance, blending modern living with historical charm. Connected by a central, light-filled stairway, the house offers a range of experiences. Retreat areas on the lower level provide ample space for relaxation, while the middle level accommodates formal gatherings, and the top floor offers light-filled zones of solitude. Each room is thoughtfully designed to respect privacy while maintaining a sense of connection. Between the end facades are several long walls which serve as a canvas for the family’s art collection, which holds deep meaning. The Lowe house reflects their unique personality and is a testament to their family-centric values. This meticulous restoration project pays homage to the house’s architectural heritage, creating a space where modern lifestyles thrive and each family member can express individuality.