This house is an exploration of the traditional division of a building into base, middle and roof. The solidity of the base is maintained. It reads heavy and rooted to the earth. The second floor is light and almost without walls.
The roof flies above. To accommodate the causal lifestyle of the Davis family, the architects developed an open floor plan on the first floor where the kitchen and family room are one and the same, opening up to the garden. Adjacent to the kitchen is a studio for the client’s wife.
This is her nerve center, directly connected to the heart of the house. The kitchen and family room utilizes the design themes vital to Abramson Teiger Architects’ design concepts, such as a skylight that filters soft light into the space, and expansive sliding doors that disappear to highlight the seamless integration of interior with the outside garden. There is an open flow from the kitchen family room to the living room and dining room. The dining room has no doors, just views through the living room, through the fish tank and out to the garden. For more intimate dining a soft curtain can be drawn around the room.
The first floor base is mostly solid, in response to the harsh Toronto winter and is constructed of stone wherever it meets the earth. As the façade lifts up and away from the grade it is clad in wood, detailed as a rain screen, which stands proud of the stone below it. The stone is black, heavy and cleft in 1 ½” horizontal bands. Its color is a reference to the Algonquin stone prevalent in Ontario. The wood rain-screen is set 6” in front of the stone base, serving to layer the façade in a composition of plane and material.
The second floor walls are free of the base in plan. The walls follow the profile of the soaring roof above and are finished in white plaster to reinforce the concept of lightness as the house lifts to the sky. The bedrooms are lifted up and away from the earth. The second floor has an open den at its heart. Three childrens bedrooms and the master suite flow from it. The master suite, with its views towards the garden, catches the morning light. The second floor exterior walls start to disappear as they rise towards the roof. The results are spaces with views to the densely wooded site. The green forest is brought inside. Trees on perimeter of site provide privacy buffer with neighbors. One is in a perch on a limb of a bough. The roof is flying above, light an ephemeral.
The swimming pool room is designed with doors that disappear into the walls connecting the exterior patios to the pool deck. On the right of the pool is a 16 foot wide by 5 foot high fish tank which separates the swimming pool from the living room and beyond. In the living room the view extends through the fish tank, through the water of the pool and out to the garden beyond.
In the basement, which has a clear ceiling height of 10’-0”, is a full sports center, the focal point of which is a championship size squash court with 20’-0” clear ceiling height. The squash court is overlooked by an entertainment area and a sports bar.
3rd UNCLE developed the interiors in collaboration with Abramson Teiger Architects to complement the spirit of the architectural vision and addressing the client’s family requirements and lifestyle. The materials and finishes are seamlessly integrated with the building’s exterior and interior architecture and help adjust the scale of the large open spaces to create intimacy within spaces. Custom millwork is strategically designed to addressing requirements of organizing storage and providing display throughout the house. The materials, scale and details help built-ins to seamlessly integrate with the architecture and compliment the spatial relationships within the open plan.
Abramson Teiger Architects. Partner In charge of Design: Trevor Abramson, Managing Partner: Douglas Teiger, Project Architect: Bjorn Schrader. Address: 8924 Lindblade Street Culver City, CA T. 310 838 8998
Interior Design collaboration:
- Abramson Teiger Architects. Partner In charge of Design: Trevor Abramson, Managing Partner: Douglas Teiger. Project Architect: Bjorn Schrader
- 3rd Uncle Design, Inc. Partner in charge of Design: Arriz Hassam, Project designer: Mazen El- Abdullah. Address: 8 Camden Street, Suite 300, Toronto Ontario, Canada T. 416 504 5890
Landscape Architect: Mark Hartley Landscape Architects Limited
Construction Manager: SCE Ross Gilmore
Photographs courtesy of Tom Arban Photography
Text content by the Architect.