Text description provided by the architects. Our clients, a young married couple, purchased a two and a half story historic home in Parkdale, Toronto. The house had previously been subdivided into three apartments that they wished to convert back into a single family dwelling to accommodate their future family. They wanted a friendly, open concept house that would allow them to entertain anything from dinner parties to sports viewing. The design strategy was to open up the common areas so that everyone could more easily be connected. A variety of nooks were created throughout the house which serve as both reading and hangout spaces.
The front of the house was largely left intact. Some minor repairs were done to the brickwork and new windows were installed that respect the historic character of the house. The interior was completely gutted and a new, underpinned basement was dug out. An extension, clad in black aluminum to contrast it from the existing house, was constructed in the back. Between this addition and the original house is a load-bearing brick wall which was stripped bare on the inside, white washed, and pierced to create passages between the new and the old.
The front entrance opens onto a large living-dining-room space and a kitchen beyond. A stair, lined with a large wooden bookcase, leads up to a double-height family room and a wood-clad structure housing two bedrooms and a bathroom. Above these rooms is a cozy loft accessible by ladder and which overlooks the double-height space below. Through an opening in the brick wall is the master bedroom suite overlooking the garden below.
The original rear brick facade was left exposed and painted white, emphasizing the passage between the old house and the new addition.