Pumphouse Mews Coop
Construction Supervision: John Gillis Masonry: Monadnock Construction Garden Design: Cynthia Gillis
This project is the transformation of an abandoned water pumping station in Brooklyn Heights into six large townhouses – without altering the appearance of the original building. The building was a shell of heavy masonry and concrete adjacent to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE). Within this shell we built a series of townhouses, preserving the beautiful brick façade and arched window openings – and conforming to the building’s Landmark status.
An essential design concept – it made the project feasible -- was shielding the future owners from the adjacent BQE. The original main entrance to the water pumping station had been near the overhead highway -- not a pleasant entry experience. We reoriented the building. Now the entry is on a new private “street”, the Mews, on the far side of the building, away from the BQE. This not only creates a secluded side street for the entrances, it also puts the entire bulk of the building between the entering occupants and the BQE, thus eliminating a lot of ambient noise from the highway.
The enormous bulk of the interior of this pumping station meant we were able to fit four large levels inside, resulting in two and four bedroom townhouses with very large rooms and many with large basement recreation rooms. Each of the six townhouses has its own front door on the landscaped Mews, leading either up to a huge duplex, or down to a duplex, including the recreation rooms.
Because of the quality of the original brick and stone walls, and their Landmark status, we used the existing arched window openings for all the windows and doors for the new townhouses. No new openings were cut into the facades. We had new custom wood windows and doors made to conform to the shapes of the brick arches. The result is a new little “village” of townhouses within what was once considered the original “suburban village” for Wall Street: Brooklyn Heights.
- Project Category: Apartment Buildings,
- Location: Brooklyn Heights, NY
- Materials: Historic brick and concrete and stone
- Size: 21000 sf