Glen Road House

Toronto, Ontario

Measuring less than 12 feet wide and over 65 feet long, this residential renovation’s primary challenge was successfully integrating all three floors of the house while ensuring that every space received plenty of natural daylight. To achieve this, the design strategy revolved around the introduction of a three-storey atrium at the centre of the plan, topped by operable skylights. A bridged condition results, with circulation occurring between the stairwell and open atrium on each floorplate; the resulting linearity plays off the already exaggerated long and narrow proportions of the house.

The atrium opening is defined by a handsomely detailed custom screen of white oak, which also serves as a stair guard between the ground and second floors. Populated with a playful arrangement of translucent spherical glass pendant lights, the atrium encourages passive ventilation and connects the spaces of the house in a way that was absent prior to the renovation. Pale Loire limestone on the ground floor reflects light and makes the narrow space feel more open and capacious. Maple flooring on the upper two floors continues the palette of light golden tones.

All of the existing windows were replaced with anodized bronze-framed double-glazing, which provides a rich and dark complement to the interior material palette while appropriately and sympathetically responding to the immediate context of the city’s Rosedale neighbourhood.

photo: Tom Arban