Located on a small lot in Downtown Toronto, the owners of this new three storey residence desired a peaceful urban retreat, purposefully tailored to nurture and enhance a close communal family life and their enjoyment of the outdoors. The response is a highly personalized expression of one small family’s particular lifestyle.

At ground level, a back-split condition responds to the natural slope of the site. An adventurous sectional arrangement continues vertically upward, with additional split levels arranged around a 3-storey light well, drawing sunlight (and moonlight) deep into the house. A home office occupies the light well, with views to the living room above, and a library space below. What would typically be the dark middle of the house is bathed in sunlight and enjoys a feeling of expansive vertical space. The various regions of the home are all closely knit together across this interior light well, creating an interesting balance between separation and intimacy: While the family may be individually occupied with remote activities (cooking, lounging, working, playing), they are always quickly and easily engaged with one another.

The three principal living spaces (Living room, Kitchen/ Dining area, Library) also expand outwards, into separate exterior areas, each with its own unique and complementary character. At ground level, an arrangement of subtle level changes and low partitions gradually increase the degree of privacy as one moves from the street, through the interior, and into a secluded, forested back garden. The third floor living room - an urbanized version of a cabin in the woods with wood stove and cedar ceiling - nestles intimately into tree tops at one end, and opens widely toward the sky at the other. An upper level outdoor terrace offers easy enjoyment of the city skyline, urban tree canopy, sunsets, and the night sky.

The house is thus organized around three principal axes which connect the interior with the outdoors: a ground level Garden Axis, a third level Sky Axis, and a vertical Sun Axis.

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Modern home with Living Room, Medium Hardwood Floor, Chair, Wall Lighting, Sectional, and Wood Burning Fireplace. The third floor living room - an urbanized version of a cabin in the woods, with wood stove and cedar ceiling. It nestles intimately into tree tops at one end, and opens widely toward the sky at the other. Photo  of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

The third floor living room - an urbanized version of a cabin in the woods, with wood stove and cedar ceiling. It nestles intimately into tree tops at one end, and opens widely toward the sky at the other.

Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Shingles Roof Material, and Wood Siding Material. The all-black exterior cladding creates a quiet pause in the streetscape. By day, it acts as an abstract canvas for shadow play from the boulevard trees. By night, it has the quality of an austere lantern. Photo 2 of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

The all-black exterior cladding creates a quiet pause in the streetscape. By day, it acts as an abstract canvas for shadow play from the boulevard trees. By night, it has the quality of an austere lantern.

Modern home with Exterior, Wood Siding Material, House Building Type, and Shingles Roof Material. The all-black exterior cladding creates a quiet pause in the streetscape. By day, it acts as an abstract canvas for shadow play from the boulevard trees. By night, it has the quality of an austere lantern. Photo 3 of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

The all-black exterior cladding creates a quiet pause in the streetscape. By day, it acts as an abstract canvas for shadow play from the boulevard trees. By night, it has the quality of an austere lantern.

Modern home with Outdoor, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, Small Patio, Porch, Deck, Gardens, and Front Yard. The perennial front porch, re-imagined as a seamless extension of the home's interior. Photo 4 of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

The perennial front porch, re-imagined as a seamless extension of the home's interior.

Modern home with Outdoor, Large Patio, Porch, Deck, Rooftop, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, Wood Fences, Wall, and Decking Patio, Porch, Deck. An upper level outdoor terrace offers easy enjoyment of the city skyline, urban tree canopy, sunsets, and the night sky. Photo 5 of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

An upper level outdoor terrace offers easy enjoyment of the city skyline, urban tree canopy, sunsets, and the night sky.

Modern home with Living Room, Chair, Wood Burning Fireplace, Sectional, and Medium Hardwood Floor. The third floor living room - an urbanized version of a cabin in the woods, with wood stove and cedar ceiling. It nestles intimately into tree tops at one end, and opens widely toward the sky at the other. Photo 6 of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

The third floor living room - an urbanized version of a cabin in the woods, with wood stove and cedar ceiling. It nestles intimately into tree tops at one end, and opens widely toward the sky at the other.

Modern home with Living Room, Medium Hardwood Floor, Slate Floor, Chair, Sectional, Wood Burning Fireplace, and Coffee Tables. The sloped living room ceiling creates an intimate compression at the low end - a delightful spot to read within the tree tops, or enjoy snow falling on the street below. Photo 7 of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

The sloped living room ceiling creates an intimate compression at the low end - a delightful spot to read within the tree tops, or enjoy snow falling on the street below.

Modern home with Office, Study Room Type, Chair, Storage, Medium Hardwood Floor, Lamps, and Desk. A home office occupies the light well, with views to the living room above, and a library space below. What would typically be the dark middle of the house is bathed in sunlight and enjoys a feeling of expansive vertical space. Photo 8 of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

A home office occupies the light well, with views to the living room above, and a library space below. What would typically be the dark middle of the house is bathed in sunlight and enjoys a feeling of expansive vertical space.

Modern home with Staircase and Wood Tread. Stepping down into the intimate library area, overlooked from the kitchen, and with a view up into the light well. Above, a clerestory glass panel in the second floor washroom floods it with daylight. The split level condition with open stairs provides views through multiple levels as one circulates throughout the home. Photo 9 of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

Stepping down into the intimate library area, overlooked from the kitchen, and with a view up into the light well. Above, a clerestory glass panel in the second floor washroom floods it with daylight. The split level condition with open stairs provides views through multiple levels as one circulates throughout the home.

Modern home with Kitchen, Slate Floor, Range Hood, Range, Medium Hardwood Floor, White Cabinet, Ceiling Lighting, Quartzite Counter, Stone Tile Backsplashe, Refrigerator, and Undermount Sink. The split level ground floor results in a raised kitchen/ dining area with 9' high ceilings, and an intimate sunken library connected to the front terrace. Both areas receive plenty of sunlight from the light well above. Photo 10 of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

The split level ground floor results in a raised kitchen/ dining area with 9' high ceilings, and an intimate sunken library connected to the front terrace. Both areas receive plenty of sunlight from the light well above.

Modern home with Living Room, Medium Hardwood Floor, and Chair. The library area with seating under the light well, and soaring views up through all three levels. Photo 11 of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

The library area with seating under the light well, and soaring views up through all three levels.

Modern home with Living Room. The library area features built-in seating and a walk-out to the front terrace. A floating bookcase visually separates the second lower level entrance, without restricting verbal greetings to or from the main living areas. Photo 12 of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

The library area features built-in seating and a walk-out to the front terrace. A floating bookcase visually separates the second lower level entrance, without restricting verbal greetings to or from the main living areas.

Modern home with Medium Hardwood Floor. Children's rooms present wonderful opportunities for something fun that kids will love for years. This custom bunkbed has a built-in library, and frees up floor space for play and reading with Mom and Dad. Photo 13 of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

Children's rooms present wonderful opportunities for something fun that kids will love for years. This custom bunkbed has a built-in library, and frees up floor space for play and reading with Mom and Dad.

Modern home with Outdoor, Wood Fences, Wall, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, and Large Patio, Porch, Deck. The kitchen & dining areas open out to a secluded and densely treed back yard with picnic table, lounge seating, and fire pit, evoking an intimate campsite in the heart of the city. A garden storage pavilion with oversized sliding doors provides access to a private lane beyond, while doubling as a podium for canoe storage. Photo 14 of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

The kitchen & dining areas open out to a secluded and densely treed back yard with picnic table, lounge seating, and fire pit, evoking an intimate campsite in the heart of the city. A garden storage pavilion with oversized sliding doors provides access to a private lane beyond, while doubling as a podium for canoe storage.

Modern home with Outdoor, Wood Fences, Wall, Decking Patio, Porch, Deck, Large Patio, Porch, Deck, and Wood Patio, Porch, Deck. The kitchen & dining areas open out to a secluded and densely treed back yard with picnic table, lounge seating, and fire pit, evoking an intimate campsite in the heart of the city. Photo 15 of Bellwoods LodgeView Photos

The kitchen & dining areas open out to a secluded and densely treed back yard with picnic table, lounge seating, and fire pit, evoking an intimate campsite in the heart of the city.

The owners are avid cyclists, generally coming and going by bicycle. A second entrance provides direct access to a lower level with spacious bicycle storage, wash area, and plenty of closet space. Photo 16 of Bellwoods Lodge modern homeView Photos

The owners are avid cyclists, generally coming and going by bicycle. A second entrance provides direct access to a lower level with spacious bicycle storage, wash area, and plenty of closet space.

Credits

Posted By
Architect
  • GREAT LAKE STUDIO
Interior Design
  • GREAT LAKE STUDIO
Landscape Design
  • GREAT LAKE STUDIO
Builder
  • Catalyst Design Build
Photographer
  • Tom Arban

Overview

Bedrooms
  • 3
  • Full Baths
  • 2
  • Partial Baths
  • 0
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2018
  • Square Feet
  • 1800
  • Lot Size
  • 1230