A self-initiated, architect-led design-develop-build project, Tesseract house was not designed with a specific client in mind. Rather, it was conceived as a business case to prove that one can create great contemporary architecture that fulfills a demand in the marketplace, while demonstrating that unbridled creativity generates innovative and artful spaces, using conventional and readily available construction methods. All of this was accomplished without breaking the bank and with a typical budget for a house of this kind
Located in Toronto’s western lakeside streetcar suburb, this single-family residence proves contextual while owing little to convention and serving as the antithesis to recent vernaculars. By simply and unconventionally engaging the immediate context this contemporary alternative has an impactful, yet unimposing outward presence. This geometry and the depth of experience from which the house derives its name is not provocatively innovative but nuanced, both simple and complex, revealing itself over time. All of this within the constraints of conventional local residential construction, the Tesseract House unapologetically desires to be more than just a place to live.
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View of the rear of the house from the backyard. The envelope is composed of a grey washed white cedar and painted corrugated steel cladding. The form and material composition place greater emphasis on the public spaces with the living room on the ground floor (bottom left) and the study on the second floor (top right), while balancing three distinct points of entry. The execution of the ground mudroom (bottom left) provides a discrete practical service entrance, while defining a secondary rear entrance to a basement au pair suite below and prioritizes the connection between interior and exterior living spaces.
View of the front and side of the house from the neighboring lot. The overall form of the home is broken down with light penetrating "carves" into the massing.
View from the street looking towards the front entrance
View of the dining room from the front yard
View from dining room looking towards front yard. The white washed white oak folds up completing the front aperture that repeats itself on the exterior.
Dining Chairs: Kristalia Bikappa Chair
Dining Table: Kristalia Nori Extendable Table
Detailed view of dining room window and inside-outside relationships defined by form and materiality that are both intimate and expansive.
View from the living room looking towards the front of the house.
View from living room toward kitchen and dinning rooms. This view demonstrates a home where living spaces are both open and defined, expansive and broken down in to more intimate parts
Sofa: Bonaldo Slab Plus Sofa
Coffee Table: Accursio La Cividina
Art: Out of the Darkness by Catherine Schmid
Woodburning Stove: Morso
View from the kitchen looking towards rear yard and mudroom. Hidden doors conceal access to the powder room and the mudroom and its access to the rear deck, yard and parking, placing greater priority on the relationship between interior and exterior living spaces.
Chair: Bonaldo Blazer Lounge Chair
Lamp: Cattelan Italia Lampo
View from the front entrance towards the kitchen and living room at the rear of the home. The trees in the rear yard are visible through both the ground and section floor windows. The kitchen island and counters are Brazilian soapstone while the lower millwork cabinets are a super matte black laminate. The upper cabinets are a natural finished rift cut white oak. Beyond and at the centre of the the home, the soffit of the of the second floor landing interlocks with the open to above spaces.
Kitchen Stool: Kristalia BCN Stool Cooktop and downdraft: Bosch
View from the ground floor to the second floor and outdoor lightwell above. The stairs are white stained solid white oak.
View from the center of the ground floor looking up to the second floor and skylights below. Details on the ceiling above run perpendicular to the circulation above subtlety emphasizing the relationship at the stair and open to above. This architectural carve through both the exterior and interior volumes brings natural light into the center of the home.
View from the stair landing at the second floor looking towards the open to below spaces.
View from top of stair at second floor towards the rear yard. Interior and exterior lightwells dissolve the relationship between interior and exterior.
Chair: Bonaldo Dragonfly
View from second at master bedroom entrance. The ceilings subtlety rise and the corridors open open towards stair landing and view to the open below to emphasize the connections between the public space of the first and second floor at the center of the home. The minimalist details of the return air slots and custom frameless doors prioritize spatial qualities of the more public spaces and maintain a sense of privacy for the bedrooms and bathroom
Art: Neutral Patchwork by Gayle Harismowich
- PHAEDRUS Studio
- in collaboration w/ Jeff Geldart
- Ryan Fung