A Room with a View

Toronto, Ontario

This transformative intervention to a home in midtown Toronto comprises a complete renovation and addition to the second and third floors, reorganizing and rearticulating the private spaces to meet a young family’s evolving needs. The poetic heart of the project locates itself in the master suite on the second floor, which, in warmer months, draws in the majesty of the abundant trees on the property and in the adjacent park.

The suite is intended as a refuge, a place of hushed serenity away from the demands of busy careers and frenetic urban life. A strategy to promote an enhanced connection to nature and landscape includes an immense south-facing window that stretches floor to ceiling, wall to wall. Awash in sunlight, the room enjoys sweeping views of the neighbourhood and parkland: in summer, a solid verdant expanse of gently fluttering leaves; and in winter, tree branches stand in stark contrast against the whiteness of the snow-covered city beyond.

White oak predominates: its warmth and pleasing grain registers in the floors, walls, ceiling and millwork. In complement, handmade Moroccan tiles in a muted pink and white geometric pattern line the floor beneath the bathtub and sheathe the privacy wall – forming, in effect, a striking mural that complements the vast number of significant artworks in the house.

Above the bathtub, the skylight emerges as the focal point of the room, providing an additional source of daylight while further enhancing the connection to a natural environment of sky and trees. Materially consistent with the walls, ceiling and floor, the oak-sheathed planar facets create an intriguingly sculptural void that channels light into the space, resulting in constantly shifting patterns of sun and shadow throughout the course of the day.

photo: Tom Arban