House on a Ravine

House on a Ravine

Architect
Taylor Smyth Architects
Location
Toronto, Canada
Project Year
2001
Category
Private Houses

House on a Ravine

Taylor Smyth Architects as Architects

This new 7,000 square foot home backs onto a conservation area in north Toronto. The client requested a modern, open residence that would take advantage of the spectacular natural views, with a refined material palette.


Exterior materials consist of a rubble stone base of Ontario limestone, custom mahogany windows and exterior finished stucco. Flashings, canopies and the garage door are zinc. An exterior mahogany screen at the front provides privacy from the street for the two storey high glazing.


At the rear, the house is oriented to the view of the park. Ten foot high floor to ceiling mahogany and glass doors along the full length of the living and dining rooms can be slid past each other to link interior and exterior. A water element begins inside the kitchen/conservatory as a series of bubbling spouts, reappears outside in a linear channel, and culminates in a fountain flowing from a stainless steel scupper.


Inside, the house is organized around a double height dining room. A stair of solid walnut treads on steel angles cantilevers out from a freestanding wall that leads to a steel and walnut bridge on the second floor. The stair was meticulously detailed to provide flush connections between the wood and the steel.


An elegant palette of natural materials combines dark and light colours: walnut floors and built-in millwork, light limestone flooring at the foyer and on the living room fireplace, and sandblasted glass screens and polished plaster.

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