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This 18-unit condo is built to give every tenant plenty of windows and outdoor access. 

This 18-unit condo is built to give every tenant plenty of windows and outdoor access. 

Photos: Iwan Baan. Illustration: Stephanie Davidson

CityLab
Design

The Brooklyn Condominium That’s Reinventing Outdoor Common Space

A creative complex in Boerum Hill by the architecture firm SO-IL offers a new spin on courtyard living.

(This story is part of “Look at That Building,” a weekly Bloomberg CityLab series about everyday — and not-so-everyday — architecture. Read more from the series, and sign up to get the next story sent directly to your inbox.)

Courtyard apartments have a long history in the US, particularly in temperate climes, where shaded outdoor corridors and centralized playspaces can be year-round amenities. New York City, however, has only selectively embraced this approach, with private yards and public parks taking up the slack. A new 18-unit condominium, 450 Warren — one of four planned Brooklyn collaborations between architects SO-IL and developers Tankhouse — aims to change that relationship, while also twisting the idea of common outdoor space into something that gets used.