Carroll House By LOT-EK

Carroll House is a single-family residence located in a typical 25×100-feet Brooklyn corner lot.
21 upcycled shipping containers are stacked and cut diagonally along top and bottom, generating a monolithic and private volume within the urban fabric. The diagonal cut modifies the conventional ground-floor rear yard type and use, allocating outdoor space at each level. At the same time the container walls along the diagonal cut shield the outdoor space from passers-by. Large sliding glass walls create continuity between indoor space and outdoor private enclosed decks.

Type: Single-family residence
Design: LOT-EK, Ada Tolla + Giuseppe Lignano, Principals, Virginie Stolz, Project Architect
Commission: Kim and Joe Carroll
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Size: 5,000 SF
Completion: 2016
Consultants: Structural Engineer: SILMAN
MEP / Sustainability: Dagher
Photography: Danny Bright

© Danny Bright

At ground level, the diagonal cut provides entry to the cellar and garage. Kitchen, dining and living room occupy the first floor above ground, while the area right above the garage ramp forms a media room with bleacher seating and projector. The kids’ level is right above, with the intimate space of single containers providing privacy to the bedrooms and a large open area dedicated to play. At the top, the master bedroom is split into an open space with bed and large bathtub and a large dressing area with powder rooms.

© Danny Bright
© Danny Bright

The container assembly optimizes usage, recombining all leftovers generated by the diagonal cut. The containers are sourced in New Jersey after being retired. They were cut and reinforced in New Jersey and transported to Brooklyn on flat bed trucks. The entire house volume was assembled in 4 days, followed by the work on interior systems and finishes and exterior sealing and windows.

© Danny Bright
© Danny Bright
© Danny Bright


LOT-EK has achieved high visibility in the architecture/design/art world for its sustainable and innovative approach to construction, materials and space through the upcycling of existing industrial objects and systems not originally intended for architecture.

LOT-EK is a design studio based in New York. Founded in 1993 by Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano, it has been involved in residential, commercial and institutional projects in the US and abroad, as well as projects  for  major  cultural  institutions  and  museums  including  MoMA,  the  Whitney  Museum,  the Guggenheim and the MAXXI.

LOT-EK’s founding partners, Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano, have a degree in Architecture and Urban Design from the Universita’ di Napoli, Italy (1989), and have completed  post-graduate studies at Columbia University, New York (1990-1991). Besides heading their professional practice, they also teach at Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and lecture at major universities and institutions throughout the US and abroad.

In December 2011, Ada and Giuseppe were recognized as USA Booth Fellows of Architecture & Design by United States Artists (USA).

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