Category: Private Residence
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Completion Date: 2010
Size: 7,500 square feet
Scope: Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Construction Management
An historically designated residence, built in 1934, situated on a ravine property just outside of Toronto proper, which underwent a full scale renovation and series of additions. The residence was originally designed by the award winning architectural firm Allward and Gouinlock which achieved international recognition with the modernist vernacular of the Mechanical Engineering Building on the University of Toronto campus in 1948. The French Colonial Revival façade is clad in grey, blue and red Credit Valley stone with a tile roof - both of which were seamlessly matched at the new additions. The façade is defined by a steeply pitched, hipped roof and repeating dormers. Treated as a restoration, our firm was extremely sensitive to respect the established architectural language when adding a series of pavilions to the existing structure. The project involved a careful restoration juxtaposed with some contemporary elements such that the additions present as having been historical with the perception being that modernist sheets of glass were then recently introduced at widened exterior openings. The introduction of this glazing was in an effort to take advantage of what is a very unique property with beautiful gardens and courtyard, bringing the outside in while creating aesthetic tension between old and new. A focus on architectural detail and continuity weaves its way throughout the house and includes select interior walls clad with the existing exterior masonry material, classical beam and board ceilings clad in indigenous wood material - all elements celebrating the power of nature and further connecting with the exterior. The interior contents are not without contrast. The elegance of Jules Leleu, Jean Michel Frank and Andre Arbus is juxtaposed with artisanal works by Franca Argolas, Lee Hun Chung and those inspired by Audoux- Minet resulting in what could be described as a rather chic tree house. The project involved the curating of art and objets including modernist works by the Haas Brothers, Herve Van der Straeten, David Wiseman, Jeff Zimmerman, vintage works by Angelo Mangiarotti, Ettore Sottsass and Svend Hammershoj installed within the context of the client’s contemporary photography collection.