Annex House

Toronto, Ontario

Located in Toronto’s established Annex neighbourhood, this residential project reconciles an existing historical cottage with a contemporary addition – emphasizing open, flexible spaces and access to natural light. The area of the home is doubled through the addition of a two-storey volume at the rear of the red brick cottage, providing a distinct but subtle contrast through dark stacked brick and large panels of glazing. The design – which harmonizes historical renovation and new construction – was the result of working with both the local historical board and the client to achieve a pleasing balance.

The interior sequence utilizes the full volume of the cottage as an expanded living area, while the kitchen, stair and skylights find their place in the new addition. Clefts in the plan create interesting bridged circulation paths upstairs, a device that allows even more light from above to filter down to the ground floor. Well-detailed integrated millwork in mahogany complements the teak and piasentina floor, seamlessly unifying all the spaces in the home.

The provision of an informal family room at the rear of the house and the increased ratio of glass to wall in the new addition establishes a more intimate connection to the back garden.

photo: Tom Arban