Stoic at the front, playful at the back

A fairly conservative street presence gives way to playful light- and space-giving architecture at the rear for this dynamic family home

Designed by StudioAC Team

From the architect:

This home is located in a tree lined residential neighbourhood in North Toronto. 

The brief requested attention to function, to create a home that a family could grow into, while ensuring the space was subdued and minimal. 

The home navigates the many contradictions inherent to achieving a singular response to this ultimately complex home.

  • How can a floor plan that celebrates openness and transparency still creating distinct spatial identity? 
  • How can a facade conceal the interiors while maximising light throughout?

The front facade appears stoic – grey brick and limestone stretch across the south face, interrupted by a systematic placement of openings. 

The entry is flanked with an intimate living space that conceals the open floorplan at the back of the house. 

This space is lined with tall narrow windows, creating a staccato play between the solid brick facade and brief moments of transparency. 

Beyond this, a double height space features a winding staircase and brings light into the kitchen at the centre of the plan. 

The living space at the rear extends into the yard to create an exterior covered courtyard between living and dining – fostering a relationship between the spaces while create distinct separation and an identity for each. 

This linking covered space introduces a long stretch of west-facing windows on an otherwise north facing facade and in doing so, invites the warm evening light into the plan.

The winding stair leads to a double height gallery space overlooking the kitchen at the heart of the home. 

The primary bedroom cantilevers beyond the ground floor plan, stretching into the rear yard overlooking the west facing reveal in the plan. 

Distinctly more private, the second storey is wrapped in brick, contrasting the vast stretch of glazing that reveal the living and dining spaces below. 

The rear of the home is considerably more playful in form and articulation than its stoic front, contributing to an architecture of juxtaposition and contrast.

Credit list

Designed by: StudioAC Team

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Doublespace Photography

15 Oct, 2023

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