Narrow Modernist Three-Story Home in Toronto

written by:
photos by:
December 1, 2009
Originally published in The Future
as
Slim Fit
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  • 
  Karen White, David MacNaughtan, and their sons, Griffin and Finlay, hang out on the front deck, which lines up next to the neighbors' porch.
    Karen White, David MacNaughtan, and their sons, Griffin and Finlay, hang out on the front deck, which lines up next to the neighbors' porch.
  • 
  Just through the front door is the living room where built-ins by Chong share space with a three-legged Wegner chair and photo-graphs by Arnaud Maggs.
    Just through the front door is the living room where built-ins by Chong share space with a three-legged Wegner chair and photo-graphs by Arnaud Maggs.
  • 
  At the top, the view from the roof deck reveals a patchwork of garages and yards surprisingly free of neighbors.
    At the top, the view from the roof deck reveals a patchwork of garages and yards surprisingly free of neighbors.
  • 
  From the second level of the house, Griffin climbs the stairs his own way.
    From the second level of the house, Griffin climbs the stairs his own way.
  • 
  The second-floor family room is fronted by an L-shaped staircase with an opaque guardrail that provides some privacy for the front facade.
    The second-floor family room is fronted by an L-shaped staircase with an opaque guardrail that provides some privacy for the front facade.
  • 
  A detail shot of the stair, which spirals up and down throughout the house.
    A detail shot of the stair, which spirals up and down throughout the house.
  • 
  Down the corridor from the boys’ bedrooms is the family room.
    Down the corridor from the boys’ bedrooms is the family room.
  • 
  The kids play in the family room just beneath the stairs.
    The kids play in the family room just beneath the stairs.
  • 
  In the back, ivy climbs across the garage’s raw cedar cladding next to a gate that allows access to the laneway—but the boys prefer to climb the fence.
    In the back, ivy climbs across the garage’s raw cedar cladding next to a gate that allows access to the laneway—but the boys prefer to climb the fence.
  • 
  In the dining room, furniture by Wegner and local designers Speke Klein blends with the white oak floors and stair.
    In the dining room, furniture by Wegner and local designers Speke Klein blends with the white oak floors and stair.
  • 
  The family shares a meal at the counter in the kitchen.
    The family shares a meal at the counter in the kitchen.
  • 
  A white Bulthaup system fits cleanly into the 13-foot-long kitchen.
    A white Bulthaup system fits cleanly into the 13-foot-long kitchen.
  • 
  Since the room is at the windowless middle of the house, it borrows light from the kitchen, which, despite its pristine Bulthaup cabinetry and hardware, is the laid-back heart of the house. Chong took advantage of the one-and-a-half-height ceiling to establish some well-hidden  storage cabinets.
    Since the room is at the windowless middle of the house, it borrows light from the kitchen, which, despite its pristine Bulthaup cabinetry and hardware, is the laid-back heart of the house. Chong took advantage of the one-and-a-half-height ceiling to establish some well-hidden storage cabinets.
  • 
  Griffin’s room, which is exactly the same size as his brother’s, gets good light from the backyard.
    Griffin’s room, which is exactly the same size as his brother’s, gets good light from the backyard.
  • 
  The master bedroom occupies a private space on the top floor.
    The master bedroom occupies a private space on the top floor.
  • 
  A rear view of the narrow house shows how Chong twisted the house’s volumes to bring daylight into each room.
    A rear view of the narrow house shows how Chong twisted the house’s volumes to bring daylight into each room.
  • 
  Chong left enough space in the 16-foot-wide backyard for a garden and comfortable dining area.
    Chong left enough space in the 16-foot-wide backyard for a garden and comfortable dining area.
  • 
  In the lane behind the garage, Finlay makes use of the occasionally neglected territory.
    In the lane behind the garage, Finlay makes use of the occasionally neglected territory.
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