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Project of the Week – Playhouse

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Architect: Grant Davis Thompson Inc.
Location: Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, NY
Photography: Davis Thompson

Don’t be fooled by the name – this Brooklyn “Playhouse” isn’t just for kids. It was built with grown-ups in mind too. And rightfully so. After all, why should the wee ones get all the fun? That was the homeowners’ attitude when they hired Grant Davis Thompson to transform their Clinton Hill backyard into a social hub the whole family could enjoy. Good news – GDT delivered!

Taking a playful approach, the boutique general contractor & design firm incorporated a hidden sandbox/cooler/kiddie pool into the playhouse structure. Whimsical, yet functional, features likes these, combined with GDT’s woodworking expertise, imbue this project with an undeniable charm that’s hard to ignore.

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Another standout aspect of Playhouse is all that rustically beautiful wood. Everything from the fence to the furniture is made entirely of Western Red Cedar.

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“The decision was made to use a material that was sourced as locally as possible,” says Palmer Thompson-Moss, GDT principal and owner. “We wanted to choose a material which was naturally resilient to the outdoors rather than material that had to be painted or added to.”

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As part of this artisan aesthetic, it was important that the wood didn’t look overly polished. So the GDT team and their clients opted to leave the structures untreated. This will allow the cedar to weather naturally, eventually turning into a graceful silver patina. They also went for a knotty grade of wood, as oppose to a clear grade.

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“We liked the natural quality of the material,” explains Thompson-Moss. “Our goal wasn’t to cover up the cedar but rather to celebrate the material in its natural quality.”

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WRC Specifications
Grade: Select grade
Size: Various batten sizes – 2×4, 2×6 & 2×10 1×6 fencing material
Applied Finish: None