Tour a Recently Renovated Triplex in Brooklyn

A soaring steel staircase is the tie that binds.
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The winding steel staircase was fabricated in sections in Colombia and assembled on-site. Photography by Colin Miller.

By necessity and definition, triplex life is typically all about stairs. Soaring above the manicured urban wilderness of Brooklyn Bridge Park, the 3,900-square-foot penthouse triplex featured on these pages was essentially built upside down by Marvel Architects, part of the Pierhouse project adjacent to 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. Bedrooms are arranged on the apartment’s lowest level. One flight up, enormous kitchen windows offer views across the East River toward the Manhattan skyline. And on top, a private roof terrace enjoys an uninterrupted panorama from a bird’s-eye vantage point. Though each level is spectacular on its own, artfully tying them all together was another thing completely.

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The living room features Vladimir Kagan seating pieces, a Studio Van den Akker cocktail table, a Fort Street Studio area rug, and custom curtains by Erik Bruce. Photography by Colin Miller.

The postcard-worthy vistas attracted a commercial real estate power broker who hired Kathryn Eisberg of KE Design to make his dream apartment come to life. She had worked on a previous residence for the client in Tribeca, which sold fully furnished, so they started from scratch in Brooklyn. Developers Starwood Capital and Toll Brothers City Living had gone light on the interior detailing, and the space essentially “needed to be gutted,” according to Shenton Architects principal Carl Shenton, who recalls “standard-issue light switches” and a range hood that “wasn’t even recirculating air, which no one knew until we took it apart.”

Key to the multimillion-dollar renovation was replacing the clunky stairs linking the apartment’s three levels through a double-height atrium. Shenton’s solution: a rounded “winder” staircase that incorporates wedge-shaped steps (think spiral stairs, rather than square switchback landings) and ultimately gains back more usable square footage. “You can walk on it continuously without stopping and turning around,” the architect says of the structure, prefabricated by welders in Colombia from complex steel stringers and balustrades that were blackened to a dark bronze-brown. Cut into four-and-a-half-ton component pieces, the staircase was shipped to Miami, trucked to Brooklyn, and reassembled on the premises, a feat of precision engineering, to say the least.

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The marble on the primary bath’s wall is from Bas Stone NYC. Photography by Colin Miller.

Eisberg, meanwhile, set her sights on the rest of the apartment, patching and whitewashing knotty heart pine floors, painting walls Benjamin Moore’s luminous Distant Gray, and installing 11 slabs of Calacatta marble and Bulthaup casework in the kitchen, which she appreciates for its “clean German lines.” A nook noted as storage on building plans was outfitted with a dry bar and christened the Speakeasy, replete with its own heavy velvet curtain. As for curtains on the expansive windows, the designer spec’d custom gossamer panels from curtain couturier Erik Bruce for a hint of privacy and sun blockage. Her reasoning? “You can still have a gorgeous view,” she says, “even if some of it is filtered just a tiny bit.”

The print version of this article appears with the headline: Triple Threat.