Madrigal House is a renovation and addition to an Edwardian-era house in Toronto’s Annex Neighbourhood for a family of five.

Our objective was to go beyond the convention of juxtaposing modern architecture with a historic structure. Ours was a delicate “madrigal” — a weaving together of restoration, transformation and invention.

The new home unfolds like a tour through its own history — from old to new. A carefully restored and augmented exterior opens onto a gracious Edwardian entry through an original stained glass door. Immediately beyond is the music room, staircase and living room, where reinvented 19th Century detail such as newly commissioned stained glass, maintains the feeling of grandeur and formality that is characteristic of the era.

From the entry, the central hall runs through the more formal part of the home to arrive in the rear addition.

In the addition is the new heart of the home: a large, multitasking kitchen that opens up to the backyard. While still marked by the home’s grand spatiality, traditional details fall away to express the full gamut of contemporary design. A modern clarity characterizes the kitchen’s strong composition, setting the stage for a new kind of luxury in bespoke details such as an articulated stainless steel bar and built-in daybed.

The roofline is punctured by three, newly extruded zinc-clad dormers. The modern dormers make possible three equal-size bedrooms on the third floor, each with unique views and fenestration. The addition exterior is clad in a weather-resistant, bush hammered grey-blue limestone that transitions into the outdoor stair and ground-level patio.

As dubbed by Canadian architecture reporter, Simon Lewsen, our ‘sensitive and revisionist approach’ created a new whole that seamlessly knits a modern architectural language into its historic surroundings.

Area:
776 m2

Location:
Toronto, Canada

Status:
Built

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