Art House / Urbanscape Architects

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  • Architects: Urbanscape Architects
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
  • Lead Architects: Ali Malek
  • Project Team: Ali Malek, Aram Vakili
  • Area: 205.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Revelateur Studio
  • Construction: Urbanline
  • Structural Engineer: TAG Structure
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Text description provided by the architects. The inhabitants of a home inform its growth. For the renovation of this project—Art House—the initial idea stemmed from the owner's’ lifestyle and their dedication to collecting contemporary art. A dated house, it needed to be converted into a warm, contemporary, light-filled home. The interior spaces were reconfigured, bringing natural light and the greenery into the everyday life. A central atrium space focuses the flow and circulation between the rooms on every floor; and a glazed wall, on the ground floor, makes a fluid connection between the exterior and interior of the house. The kitchen—where most of the residents time is spent—merges with the dining room, allowing for entertaining guests in a cordial, yet comfortable manner.

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The open concept on the main floor provides a seamless connection between the kitchen and the living spaces. Moreover, spatially, the interior was redesigned to be flexible for future growth. The newly designed third floor offers a complete master bedroom that replaces the old attic. It is punctuated by a skylight that fills the house with natural light. Structurally, the project presented a few challenges. An underpinning of the basement maintained the two and a half storey exterior walls while all interior partitions were removed to allow for the open concept. The existing floor structure was carefully extended, making the new addition possible. Subsequently, the existing roof and floor were opened at certain areas to allow for a third-floor addition.

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The traditional context of the house is commemorated through the new bay windows as additions. Metal composite panels on the front exterior keep the existing brick veneer separated from the new, more contemporary additions. They have low maintenance efforts and were very cost effective which kept the project on-budget.

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