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Renovation and Addition #1

The Project: Single Family Home Additions for a Cabinetmaker

The Story...

The owner is a professional cabinetmaker and had made carefully crafted changes to the interior including paneled walls with exotic woods.

The need for a third floor master suite and the frustration with limited parking on the street required a third floor addition and below-grade parking without affecting the completed interior work. Details and esthetics were considered from a craft perspective, and the client built many of the components after a General Contractor had completed the rough framing.

A recently completed second phase has added a backyard family room, pool and cabana. The long narrow pool functions as a lap pool and a reflecting pool, visually connecting the douglas fir and etched glass cabana to the family room deck which hovers over the water. The stone wall of the addition extends out to become the privacy fence. Second floor windows look out over the addition’s green roof.

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Renovation and Addition #2

The Project: Second floor addition to a bungalow, with late-modern design to interior

The Story...

The original suburban bungalow was poorly laid out and very dark. The new design relocated the master bedroom to a new partial second floor, freeing up area on the existing floor for a generous kitchen and open planning. Windows were replaced and in some instances enlarged to allow more natural light. The flat ceiling in the centre of the plan was removed to create a sloped ceiling with a ridge skylight. A new skylight shaft aligns with the kitchen island counter, and sun studies ensured that at least in the winter, beams of sunlight would reach back to the dining room table.

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Renovation and Addition #3

The Project: Single Family Country Home

The Story...

The house is situated on a dramatic hillside property surrounded by trees and overlooking the rural countryside. Originally built in the late 60s, the clients had identified a number of problems with the house both functionally and aesthetically.

The contemporary redesign enlarges windows, replaces rustic finishes and stairs, reorganizes the interior to improve lower level access, and improves the display of the impressive art collection. A three storey addition takes advantage of the forest views as well as providing a visual anchor to the architectural composition.

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Renovation and Addition #4

The Project: Complete renovation and addition in an established Toronto neighbourhood.

The Story...

This project is for “repeat clients”, which is always gratifying experience for an architect. The new project involved gutting an existing detached home and adding a small addition within a reasonable but tight budget. The clients were renting an apartment until completion of the project, so there was great pressure to get it done as soon as possible.

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Renovation and Addition #5

The Project: Third floor and a two-storey rear addition to a single family home.

The Story...

The 1920’s era home is an area of Toronto which is predominantly two storey and bungalow homes.

The narrow lot prohibited new windows in the sidewalls, so skylights, opening up the plan, and using glass block helps to get natural light into the dark interior spaces. Throughout he house, "slashes" in load-bearing walls create gaps where light can pass, as well as the occasional bed mattress on the way to the second floor. Vertically-proportioned openings become part of the visual language of the house.

The rear yard garage was converted into a garden house by removing 1/2 of the space below the roof, and adding a polycarbonate barrel skylight. The result is a covered terrace space ideal for summer dining, and allowing views from inside the house to the back of the yard.

The neighbours have recently constructed a new garden house that is a mirror image.

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Renovation and Addition #6

The Project: Complete gut and re-planning of Toronto condominium loft.

The Story...

The clients are a couple from Vancouver who are excited to be starting a new life in Toronto. They purchased a large loft in a 19th century Toronto industrial building that had been previously converted into condominiums. Their unit had been occupied by a well-known art dealer with eccentric taste who used it as a gallery for his collection. The new owners wanted to gut the interior and reimagine how the space could suit their needs.

I was engaged to create a strategic plan for the arrangement of spaces and the flow, and to obtain the necessary approvals. The most significant architectural feature is the 3 storey stair at the back wall, which provides most of the daylight for the very deep floor plan. The windows along the sidewall face other industrial buildings, so maximizing light penetration from the rear wall was critical. A new stair allows for grade access to the rear yard, larger windows and borrowed light for the lower levels. Common areas are located to take advantage of areas with the greater daylight, while bedrooms and home office are located towards he darker interior. A wide hall that connects the elevator entry to the rear feels more like a street than than a simple path, with wide and tall doors opening into the various adjacent rooms.

One of the clients is an professional interior designer, so the loft was an opportunity for her to explore different materials and visual ideas, as well as her belief in the wisdom and skill of the Trades. Unique solutions were developed for the ceiling (clad in corrugated metal), doors (industrial galvanized doors with a fine sanding), baseboards (face-fastened plywood) and railings (laser-cut steel). With such attention to detail, being in the loft is an exhilarating experience.

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Renovation and Addition #7

The Project: Second floor alterations and two storey addition replacing existing addition.

The Story...

There was a poorly designed and constructed one storey addition at the rear of the client's house. Keeping the existing basement, a new contemporary style addition was built to take better advantage of the rear yard. The ground floor extends 5 feet beyond the second floor, allowing for some higher ceiling and taller windows.

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Renovation and Addition #8

The Project: Restoration, renovation and addition to an urban home.

The Story...

The clients purchased the existing home on a small urban lot, and requested a redesign that had better flow, more space, a new kitchen and better finishes. They were also interested in minimizing the use of artificial lights and air conditioning. The home was a designated heritage property, requiring City approval.

The addition was designed with operable windows located high up in a clerestory roof, providing a good draft as well of lots of natural light while maintaining privacy on the small lot.

Within the existing house, walls were removed, finishes replaced and better lighting installed.

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Renovation and Addition #9

The Project: Complete renovation to existing home and new two storey rear addition

The Story...

The clients are a young couple with children who have lived in the house for a few years before deciding to renovate. Their design brief required the architect to bring light and a contemporary aesthetic to their house, opening it up the back yard, and adding a third bedroom.

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Renovation and Addition #10

The Project: Renovation to part of existing home and new 2 storey addition

The Story...

This home, located in Toronto’s “Annex” neighbourhood, had a poor kitchen and no visual connection to the rear yard. By adding a bay window to the existing addition and removing interior walls, a bright and functional space was created. Finishes were selected to be fresh and light, giving the house a contemporary feeling.

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Renovation and Addition #11

The Project: Complete renovation to existing home

The Story...

The Toronto home had become worn from years of neglect. When a home gets uniformly out of date, when the windows, finishes flooring and the wiring all require upgrading, the house can be dramatically upgraded without having to preserve original features. These clients wanted to stay in their home but wanted to totally renew and refresh the feel.

Interior walls were removed, large glass doors added to the back wall, skylights installed to bring light into the centre of the home. In the kitchen, a large pantry “cube” finished in wood conceals the powder room

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