Van Vorst House

Single Family Residence - Renovation/ Alteration/ Addition - Jersey City, NJ - Completed 2013

This row house in Jersey City's Van Vorst Park Neighborhood dates back to the late 1800's.  The original structure and a rear yard addition from the 1980's were damaged during Hurricane Sandy.  Our clients approached us with the intent of removing the rear yard addition and replacing it with a new structure that would provide additional living space and a roof deck. 

In order to improve exposure to daylight in the existing structure our solution proposes building two floors of new space instead of the three allowed by zoning.  Additionally, we subtract portions of the new first and second floors to create additional outdoor space and further reduce the overall bulk of the addition on the site. 

The three outdoor spaces created by the subtraction have unique qualities.  The first floor "porch" is covered and has walls on three sides giving it protection from the sun and wind while maintaining a close connection to the rear patio at grade.  The second floor "court" is open to the sky, but surrounded on three sides giving it partial protection from the sun and wind.  Given its location within the overall footprint of the house, it is the most private of the outdoor spaces and serves as a transition between new and old.    The roof top "deck" is open on all sides and to the sky above.  It is the most exposed and public of the outdoor spaces, but also offers sunshine throughout the day and views of the New York City skyline. 

Photography by Sue Daley and Steve Gross