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Area:  353 m2
Location:  Toronto, Canada
Status:  Built

Perched among old growth on a gently sloping site, this house is a marriage of environmentally responsible building strategies and elegant architectural composition. The design is shaped around the concept of making visible the interface between habitation and landscape.

Oriented on a strict Cartesian axis, the house is designed to maximize its potential for natural light. The integrated design combines a high-performance building envelope with passive solar design systems as an effective environmentally-sustainable strategy for its northern context. An expansive window along the building's south face allows the low winter sun to penetrate and warm the house. A large internal slate wall captures available solar energy to warm the house during evening hours. Smaller apertures within the wall dapple adjacent rooms with light. Resonating within the house, the slate wall frames views and guides movement.

Along the street façade is a prominent privacy screen composed of vertically stacked glass elements. Set in a crenellated pattern, this sculptural screen allows maximum infusion of light while providing visual privacy from the street. When viewed from the interior, the ethereal light quality evokes being suspended behind the cascade of a waterfall. When viewed from without, even on the greyest days of the year, its subtle shifts in colour and texture imbue the street with vitality. At the opposite side, the room opens out to a generous terrace and pool, extending the interplay of light and water in a continuous flow between interior and exterior space.