Renovation, restoration, and addition to an older brick home
Located north of downtown Toronto, near Casa Loma, South Hill House esiged by StudioAC is a renovation, restoration, and addition to an older brick home. When altering both the interior and exterior, a sensitivity to the existing structure was observed. The new addition stands in contrast with contemporary details, larger open spaces, and modernist massing.
The siting of the project was influenced by local zoning regulations, however the new mass also yields to the existing house along the north elevation to celebrate the different periods of construction. There is no mistaking what is new vs. old, but the new addition utilizes a brick chosen to match that of the existing house, and to pay homage to the greater Toronto vernacular.
Across the façade of the existing house, built openings were respected and referenced when conceiving interior layouts. In the addition, expansive panoramic openings were used to bring in natural light and to expand the perspective across the leafy, tree-filled neighbourhood.
Upon entry, one is greeted with a foyer space that frames a new whimsical and softer geometry denoted by curved openings, stairs, and double height spaces. This curvaceous approach also acts as a diagram to contrast new vs old. Existing openings and room divisions remain rectilinear, while new openings in the addition and incisions through the existing structure have softer edges, drawing the eye across, up, and through the project.
A minimalist pallet of wood floors and white walls helps maintain the play of light throughout the project, which is a main theme in the home and changes as the sun tracks across the property. Subtle accent materials, including stone at fireplaces, steel at kitchen islands, and a fashion-boutique-inspired pallet within the closet, are introduced where a more robust approach is required.
Founded in 2015, Studio for Architecture & Collaboration is an interdisciplinary architectural practice based in Toronto. Led by Andrew Hill and Jennifer Kudlats, the practice has received numerous accolades, appearing in a number of national and international publications including Azure Magazine's list of 30 Canadian Architecture Firms Breaking New Ground. StudioAC was also named 2019 Emerging Designer of the Year by the Design Exchange and RBC. StudioAC works closely with clients, consultants, and contractors at every stage of its work, from conception to realization. The studio believes that every challenge presents limitless opportunities, and they address each new project with enthusiasm and willingness to listen in order to create something unique and special.