Text description provided by the architects. Choosing to live, work and sell his art in one location, the Artist-Owner wanted to bring these program elements together, while keeping their architectural expression distinct. Teeple Architects’ solution came in the form of three long spatial volumes stacked on top of each other, shifted laterally and longitudinally to allow light penetration into the spaces. Each volume houses one aspect of the program; the ground floor volume is the studio, the second floor; the gallery, and the top floor is the residence. The clarity and directness of the concept brings dramatic expression to the sculptural form of the building.
The transparent front and rear facades exhibit the public functions of the program, allowing the daily activities of the artist to be displayed to the street, while the more private spaces are tucked away in the middle of the plan, capturing their light from above. The extreme transparency of the front façade fully displays the artist’s studio, gallery, and home activities, rendering his daily life a work of art in itself, while expressing a candid form of reality that challenges the status quo.
An inner courtyard, a quiet oasis in the center of the city, is formed between the new structure and the original studio. The courtyard contains a small reflecting pool and seating area, and brings north light into the painting studio.
The interior is detailed minimally; both to allow the artist’s work and possessions to become the forefront of the visitor’s interest, and to keep it within the tight set budget. This brownfield development project brings a novel form and program into an urban setting. It enables the painter to fully enjoy and enhance the complex urban overlays that constitute Toronto’s Chinatown neighborhood.