The original upper floor of this older residence in Toronto overlooking the historic Casa Loma stables, was a densely packed group of small rooms with dark wood paneling and tiny windows. By removing most of the interior partitions except for one division between the public and private zones, and enlarging the small windows, the new open plan feels more spacious and allows for the flow of light, and line of sight from many vantage points. The rooms in the main space are connected by built-in elements that partially screen each area while providing framed views between spaces, creating a sense of division in the otherwise open plan. The framing devices are conceptualized as graphic elements translated into three-dimensional forms that relate to the owner’s occupation as a graphic designer.
The original living room ceiling was opened up to the roof rafters and connected to a new loft mezzanine that was once an unused attic, creating a double-height space. The upper loft space, accessed by a floating mahogany stair and light steel railing, is used as a study and library. Warm red woods, crisp geometric lines and a play of smooth and varied textures reflect the owner’s Asian heritage, and specific display areas were designed to showcase some of his intriguing Asian artifacts. The addition of a large two-storey window at the front of the house allows for a view of the historic stables building across the road, acknowledging the significance of the location, and giving the feeling of “floating in the tree-tops”.