- Millwork:Zach Tonge
Text description provided by the architects. Located in a downtown loft in Toronto, Canada we were asked to design a studio loft space for a young professional that wanted something equally fun, functional and unique. We produced a scheme that revolves around an element we call the ‘bed box’ which features a generous arch entryway and elevation change – a move that produces a signifier for the sleeping quarters and a moment of warmth in opposition to the white and concrete finishes of the rest of the loft. This warmth is achieved through a floor and wall wrapper of finish plywood that holds your feet and eye as you walk in. Initial studies saw this element take on a variety of forms, orientations and materials but the simple arch configuration was a reaction to the clients background, travels and personality. This fed nicely into the form of the curtain track which is the same arch shape in plan as the other is in elevation. This subtle cuing ties the two elements together, one hard and stationary, the other light and dynamic.
In front of the bed box we utilized a gracious full height sheer that conceals the more private functions of the sleeping quarters, closet space and storage. Using the sheer in an architectural way sees it become a way to define space, provide privacy and acoustic dampening - all of which elevates it as an element and turns it into a focal point and a functional conversation piece. This spatial play provides a functional and aesthetic flexibility that allows the relatively small studio loft to feel open while enabling the sleeping quarters to feel cozy and concealed.
The shell of the unit was comprised of a grey brick that we painted out white to blend seamlessly with the new “work bench” along the window wall and kitchen island. The 'work bench' provides a long continuous surface that provides a flexible surface for the client, whether they are working, displaying art or hosting a party. The back wall of the kitchen was re-finished in black to visually recede from the objectified elements of the island and bed box.
In closing the project was a pleasure to design because of an excited, open and interesting client. While the budget was quite modest we pushed ourselves to produce something with identity, character and flexibility.