In the Forest Hill neighbourhood of Toronto, Canvas House by Partisans features a sinuous façade that embodies the revered pieces of art the home contains. The monochromatic, undulating brick façade stands out amidst the surrounding context of Georgian homes, with their conventional and symmetrical geometries.
The unmodulated brick bond pattern used here was inspired by the early works of American painter Larry Poons and is made up of repeating units of five bricks. The variation in the corbel of each brick within the modules brings dramatic undulations to the sculptural façade and demonstrates the elegance of brick, as seen in the traditional Georgian homes surrounding it, without mimicking traditional forms.
Though appearing to fluctuate and undulate in a random and organic pattern, like a theatre drape, the undulations are, in fact, strictly tied to function – pushing outward to create an overhang above the entry doors and then receding when necessary to allow light into, for example, the upper-level skylight.
Though square in its floorplan, the organicism of the exterior carries over to the home’s interior, which features gently curving walls that merge seamlessly with the ceilings and elements such as door handles and stair rails that are carved from the walls, thus creating dramatic interplays of shadow and light.
The result is a calm, contemplative interior that is a compelling backdrop for a contemporary art collection.