All posts by Jeffrey Kamen

Bungalow 1, Rockaway Beach

Bungalow Rebirth

The aftermath of hurricane Sandy presented an opportunity to redefine what it means to be a resident of Rockaway Beach. Rather than flee this storm-threatened area, young hipsters, families, and entrepreneurs are now flocking to this old run-down and working class beachfront community. The few remaining bungalows on the peninsula provide a particular draw to these newcomers. In our project, a new enclosed porch emerges as if born from the original bungalow. This new enlargement is pristine even as the existing part maintains its organic feel. The project reflects a synthesis of the desire to keep the integrity of these 1910 bungalows and also to meet the challenge of “tiny house” living that’s become all the rage. The original structure remains exposed and intact even as the entire house is weatherized for year-round use. The porch has been enclosed predominantly with large insulated sliding glass windows in order to maintain the open sense of light while also allowing for expansion of private and secure space. A modern white-with-black-accent interior was chosen to contrast with exposed roof rafters and new traditional painted board and batten siding on the exterior. In combination with a next door bungalow currently under construction, two bungalows joined buy beachfront landscaping will help show the way forward in the Rockaway Renaissance.

Bungalow 2, Rockaway Beach

Bungalow Sister

Bungalow 2–next to Bungalow 1– was renovated a year following the completion of that first one. Here was an opportunity to create a classic “whole is greater to the sum of its parts” situation. The coordination of colors and the small space between these two one hundred year old bungalows enforces a dialogue and a direction that could not be fully there before. The original structure remains exposed and intact as the entire house is weatherized for year-round use. The porch has been enclosed predominantly with large insulated sliding glass windows in order to maintain the open sense of light while also allowing for expansion of private and secure space. The ceiling rafters are more open in this project and a modern white on white interior further opens to create an illusion of far more space than square footage would indicate. Like the first bungalow, this project keeps the integrity of 1910 bungalows and also meets the challenge of “tiny house” living. Two bungalows joined buy beachfront landscaping will help show the way forward in the Rockaway Renaissance.

Marine Boulevard, Amagansett, NY

A year-round cedar-shingle beach house envisioned as an organic extension of an early-1950s summer cottage pre-existing on the site. The new house is both broader and taller than the original and extended at least 100′ behind the crest of the dunes as new zoning required. The main house, garage, and storage areas take advantage of the sloping site. Hurricane proof windows strategically permit natural light and air into every living space and also open up to breathtaking views. The interior is designed so that the spaces flow easily into one another and allow for different degrees of privacy and social interaction, which was of primary importance to the client.

Bayview Ave, Brooklyn

A Neighborhood in Transition

The client requested more living space for a family of four along with Apollo, an extra-large dog. As the house was situated on the corner, we wanted to provide an inspirational anchor for a block conceived as part of a working class development comprised of 2-story houses. It was built on piles in sand during the 1980’s.  A vertical and horizontal addition grew from the house. We provided a new façade of corbelled brick to bring a new sense of texture and solidity to the house and to the neighborhood.  It was the first of its kind. And since its completion we other exterior additions and renovations springing up and emulating our design.

The interior plan is open and modern. Floating stairs with a single stringer connect four stories and are adjacent to a continuous vertical opening of glass blocks that filter translucent light.

Two years later we added a modern garage with a green roof deck that is integrated with the original house but completely breaks away from the restrictive mold of neighboring houses.  The garage doubles as additional entertainment space as it may be opened to the living room/kitchen area.

Hudson Street Entryway

The reconfigured entryway for a condo loft building (formerly New York Hospital until the early 1950s). Materials and details reflect the TriBeCa neighborhood’s industrial past, and the final design was well-received by the Landmarks Commission. A large custom skylight at the rear opens up what would otherwise be a dark, narrow space, beckoning the visitor to the entry door.

Sculptural

These are examples from a twenty-year collaboration with renowned sculptor and artist R.M. Fischer. Mr. Fischer works on a variety of scales, both public and private. In this case the architect’s job has been to help make Mr. Fischer’s sculptural visions a reality, through illustrations and technical drawings prepared during the initial creative phases of work.

Chinatown Federal Savings

A gut renovation of a four-story early 20th-century brick building in the Sunset Park district of Brooklyn, this is the third branch of a small family-owned savings bank. The client wanted a high-ceilinged, spacious interior with modern glass and metal surfaces that would give the feeling of a much larger building.

Bond Street

A new three-story commercial building attached to the rear of a 4-1/2-story 19th-century mixed-use building in the NOHO Historic District of downtown Manhattan. The project was designed in collaboration with James Kramek, associate architect, and staff members of Bond Street Architecture and Design for their own office suite. The roof and garden above the second floor connect the new building to the residential upper-floor section of the older front building. Large skylights strategically bring light down through all floors and into every space; the combination of wood-panel and masonry finishes makes for a sleek and modern yet welcoming work environment.