The owner of this historic home in downtown Toronto had an environmentally conscious agenda and a desire for contemporary design. “I was seeking an alternative to condo living: a small and energy efficient home with enough room to comfortably accommodate visits from my out of town family and within walking distance of my work and public transit. This house enables me to enjoy a quiet neighbourhood with little traffic and mature trees, also the pleasures of a modern and light-filled design with a compact garden,” he explained.
He looked to Dubbeldam Architecture + Design to turn the dark, cramped interior into a sweeping plan that opens the interior to light, expands the useful living space and draws connections to the rear garden. Simple green strategies keep energy costs down. Custom designed built-in elements, such as the stacked felt-clad fi replace, delineate rooms without closing off one space to another. Complimentary materials and built-ins emphasize linearity, create the perception of enlarging and stretching the space, and direct the eye through the house towards the garden. Large floor-to ceiling glass panes dissolve the boundaries between inside and outside, extending the ground floor living space into the backyard. Dubbeldam enclosed the rear garden with a whitened fence and a floating deck to create a low-maintenance garden with recessed planters containing fragrant lavender, colourful grasses, climbing vines and Japanese maple trees. Now the house is sustainable, light-filled and private and its open spaces and connections to the outdoors make it feel far greater than its 1,450 square feet.