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Overlay Office transforms a 19th-century Brooklyn rowhouse into the quirky Offset House

Scalloped Synergy

Overlay Office transforms a 19th-century Brooklyn rowhouse into the quirky Offset House

The scalloped motif extends from the ceiling to the finishes (Photo by Ryan Lahiff/Courtesy Corcoran)

In the process of retrofitting a local 1899 townhouse to accommodate three residential units, Brooklyn-based Overlay Office discovered evidence of past renovations. Such stories are common in the borough’s South Slope neighborhood, where century-old rowhouses often contain layered histories of inhabitation and alteration. But while developer-led efforts to add high-end units to a fast-changing market typically see existing structures demolished or crammed with a single repeating plan, Overlay Office opted for a more idiosyncratic approach.

As the designer and developer of the so-called Offset House, Abigail Coover’s young firm elected to design each of the three condo apartments with a distinct plan. In the first-floor unit, which also occupies the building’s finished basement, two bedrooms were nestled towards the back of the building, where a deck extends over the garden.

The cellar contains additional storage, a powder room, and a large living space with direct access to the backyard. The second-floor unit positions the bedrooms at the front of the rowhouse, pushing the common areas towards another deck at the rear. The third floor presents a more open version of the second unit, with another back patio and a stair leading up to an accessible roof deck.

You can tour all three floors on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.

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