Located in Toronto’s Cabbagetown neighbourhood, the primary design challenge for this residential project was to create a contemporary addition and renovation to a 100-year old home while fulfilling the requirements of the Toronto Historical Board. The front façade is respected and maintained, while the rear facing new addition is boldly modern. Increased flow of light, improved line of sight and incorporation of sustainable technologies and materials were key requirements of the owners. The new design incorporates a vertical circulation spine without corridor walls, allowing rooms to feel larger and more connected. This primarily open plan connects the various spaces while still providing subtle division between spaces accomplished through changes in floor heights, partial walls or built-in furniture elements.
The introduction of long skylight above an open riser stair draws light into the interior lower floors of the narrow semi-detached house. By eliminating corridors, light is permitted to extend from exterior windows and the central skylight charging the public areas with natural light. The low-e glazed rear lane way façade takes advantage of a southern orientation maximizing solar gain in cold winter months. Lush deciduous trees and operable blinds serve to regulate temperature during warmer months and allow for visual privacy for the owners. Energy systems and windows were upgraded, walls were insulated, and renewable Jatoba wood flooring was used throughout.