Maximizing Usable Space in Park Slope

Courtyard between a townhouse and its separated garage with a suspended catwalk, bluestone pavers, and a picnic table
Peter Peirce
Diagram illustrating where square footage was added and removed to reallocate space in a Park Slope corner home.

The goal of this Park Slope renovation was maximizing usable space in the home's main living areas. Unfortunately, the lot, consisting of the main home, a separate large garage, and a courtyard in the middle, was already built to the zoning maximum. Because of this, we could not simply put an addition onto the home.

We realized that significant amounts of square footage were not being fully used in some areas. Shifting this space to other areas of the home would remain in compliance with NYC zoning regulations. There was room to removed square footage from both the garage and the main house's garden floor without reducing functionality. We relocated the square footage to the parlor floor. In that space, we created a kitchen and sitting area large enough for the whole family to enjoy. This shift in building mass also increased the size of the courtyard by 200 square feet, a 50% increase.

By carving square footage away at opposing angles, the entire home receives more southern light and expansive outward views. The enlarged rear yard is also ideal for their young children. Aside from more space for everyday living and entertaining, the recomposed spaces provide a huge range of activities and relationships within the home. Without adding square footage to the home, we were able to create a more useful home for the family.

Photography: Peter Peirce

Bird's eye view of a detached garage in a Park Slope corner home
Rear yard of a Park Slope townhouse in between the main home and detached garage, with a suspended catwalk, picnic table, and landscaping