A key part of our approach to the design of this house was to subvert the massing that is almost required on a 25’ wide lot and to infuse the house, and all of its details, with a sense of weightlessness. From the street, at grade, the main entrance and the garage are seamlessly integrated into the surrounding wall of porcelain slabs so as to virtually disappear into the front elevation. Above grade, the second and third floors cantilever overhead and are clad in Indiana limestone. The contrast in the materials makes the upper volumes appear to be defying gravity.
The effect is particularly sublime in dining room banquette area, where the frameless window wraps a corner with a glass-to-glass connection. Another set of frameless windows, past the kitchen, look out to the backyard’s tree canopy. The result is living spaces that feel more like a rural retreat than an urban Toronto abode. This sensibility is heightened by the use of white oak engineered hardwood flooring on the ceiling, as well as polished concrete floors that amplify natural light.
To further accentuate the illusion of effortlessness, we used frameless windows that minimize the casings around the glass, resulting in a near-perfect sense that the interiors flow unimpeded to outside.
Beyond the frameless windows, we used similarly innovative details that reinforce the airy aesthetic. The stairs, for example, are supported by heavy steel framing hidden in the wall, but appear to be origami-thin, folding planes of white oak that float from floor to floor. Instead of cluttering the look with heavy hardware, like the ubiquitous steel buttons common in many contemporary homes, the glass rails sit in sleek, black steel channels on the ground and are capped with similar, black steel channels that act as hand-grips.