City Modern Spotlight: Dean Street Townhouse
Dean Street Townhouse
Architect: Bergen Street Studio
Clay Miller Biography:
Clay Miller, founding principal of Bergen Street Studio, was born in Mountainview, California and raised in Dallas, Texas. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Duke University and a Masters of Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture. He worked in the offices of Paul Rudolph, Alex Gorlin, and Maya Lin and was a Senior Associate at the Polshek Partnership. He started his own Brooklyn-based practice in 1998 and has taught architectural design and theory at Parsons, Pratt and Yale. He lives with his family in Brooklyn.
This Dean Street renovation has quite the history – before Miller revived the Brooklyn landmark it was rumored to be a dilapidated meth lab. Transforming this 4,600-square-foot home was a difficult task, with very little structure remaining inside a crumbling exterior. In his restoration Miller emphasized the use of vegetation, creating a green wall to separate the kitchen and dining room, and building out interior green spaces and a green roof. He also brightened up the home with large panels of glass and skylights to connect the four stories. Entering the home, there is an obvious continuity between the inside and outside – a neat summarization of the entirety of the project. The most difficult part of the reconstruction was the refurbishment of the façade, which was in complete disrepair. Miller referred to original photographs of the house to accurately restore the home, as well as the neighbors’ façade, which has been pulled down over the years of neglect. And yet the elegant history is complimented by the modern furnishings inside, which show the best that Brooklyn can offer.