This new residence for an extended family is situated on a typical suburban street in central Etobicoke. At once a nice neighbor and a quiet nonconformist, the design fits gently into the streetscape but also stands firmly apart, subtly challenging the conventions typically associated with suburban single-family homes.
Location: Wedgewood Park, Toronto
Design Team: Great Lake Studio
Construction: Catalyst Design Build
Photography: Scott Norsworthy
The exterior's spare composition of simple geometric forms projects character and warmth through the use of natural materials and texture, rather than ornamentation.
Custom charred and oiled cedar, the principal cladding material, creates a richly textured backdrop for shadow play from surrounding trees.
A covered front porch (unusual in this neighborhood) offers a place to casually take in in the surprisingly vibrant street life, and chat with neighbors.
A fireplace just beyond the entrance area projects a warm, hospitable ambiance toward the street, and welcomes guests upon arrival.
The ground floor is generally open, with an emphasis on fluid movement from the front entrance, through the main living spaces, and continuing outside into a bucolic back garden.
Living, Dining, and Kitchen areas are loosely differentiated through the use of custom cabinetry. While open to each other, each of these areas still feels comfortably contained and intimate.
An elegantly designed 'Harvest Table' is a defining feature of the home, and all common living areas pivot around this central communal gathering place. Beautifully fabricated from solid walnut, the Harvest Table is an heirloom piece that will last for generations.
A restrained material palette applied consistently throughout the home creates a calm and harmonious background that can better withstand (and not be overwhelmed by) the chaos and clutter of family life.
A skylit stair draws filtered daylight into the dining area, and further down to the basement below.
The stair itself is sculptural and playful, contrasted against a white wooden screen.
In contrast to the open ground floor, the second floor is much more compartmentalized, with 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, a private Study, and Family room.
Spaces are compact and efficient but still feel spacious thanks to soaring vaulted ceilings and daylighting from skylights arranged along the roof ridge.
Deep cantilevered roof eaves create a variety of sheltered porches, decks, and balconies around the perimeter of the home. These also serve to shade the larger window areas, enhancing privacy and passively cooling the house through summer months.
A terraced back deck with bleacher seating provides a theatrical venue for summer parties and casual hang-outs.