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Rosemary Residence (2016)

16 Mar 2017
 
Image Credit: DoubleSpace Photography
Architectural Credit: Kohn Shnier Architects
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario 
Date of Completion: 2016

OAA Awards 2017 Design Excellence Finalist 


Rosemary House is a modest two storey structure that sits unobtrusively within a conventional midblock site in a well-established Toronto neighborhood. While it is distinct from its pseudo Tudor neighbours, it is neither overshadowed nor dominant in that distinction. It is setback slightly further than the original house, to better align with its neighbours. An innovative use of custom solid limestone masonry is tonally sympathetic with other homes, yet demonstrates how contemporary design can contribute difference.

Site Plan 
Diagram Credit: Kohn Shnier Architects


The project is the design of a new home for a young family with two working parents and three children, and it encourages modern family living that is deliberately interactive, open to choices and growth. This is achieved by planning for living, working and playing in spaces that are zoned, yet not necessarily enclosed. Circulation, planned with continuous loops and visual overlook, provides for art display, endless running space for children and continuous contact between family members.

A unique “pleated” ceiling element creates dynamic movement throughout the volume and contrasts the simple nature of the spaces in plan. Simultaneously, the ceiling provides acoustic performance, and ambient and task lighting for the art collection.





View of Dining Room with custom designed, solid oak 
Photo Credit: Doublespace Photography


While replacing an existing house, the new house utilizes the area of the original house, to emphasize fluid relationships between, and within, shared family spaces—both indoor and outdoor. Accommodating a large art collection, as well as the desire to preserve and engage a large tree in the rear yard were two important requirements during the design process.  






View from rear garden the old Ash tree.
Photo Credit: Doublespace Photography



The Rosemary House’s efficient design minimizes its impact on the environment during its entire lifespan by using the following measures:
  • Simple volume, strategic use of glass, in floor heating, maximizing soft landscaping on site
  • Use of robust materials require minimum life cycle costs
  • Materials, finishes and furniture are zero VOC, sustainable and natural for a healthy living environment
  • No plastics or vinyl used
  • Old Ash Tree prophylactically treated to preserve against Ash Borer
  • Glazing design optimized to provide glass to solid wall ratio providing both ample natural light yet well insulated envelope.

In addition to fulfilling the family requirements of the owners, the home facilitates work from home. Both parents are doctors with practices that often require immediate response for patients and colleagues; Rosemary House provides the owners the ability to mediate the daily demands of their professional and families lives. Design efficiencies also assist in day-to-day living.






View of Main Living Space
Photo Credit: Doublespace Photography

 

The compact stacked footprint of the house permits the use of robust, high quality materials and products within the budget. As a counterpoint to much larger homes being built in the neighbourhood, this modern home encourages larger living in smaller, useable and flexible space.

The design of the house seeks to find the ‘sweet spot’ between formal innovations that break with conventional boundaries of its neighbours yet respects the essential qualities of its context. It is innovative and assertive, yet modest and familiar. It is a home that will always be understood as both of its time and a classic.
 
 
 
 

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Comments

April 23, 2017 11:54 by Anonymous
Linear...no organic features in it, looks like the change rooms of a gym or swimming pool, too many stairs, aseptic(guess goes well with the owners profession) it looks nice from the outside.


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April 23, 2017 11:22 by Anonymous
relation between spaces, portions, and very good harmonizing between inside and elevation is wonderful. good light and traveling nature to inside spaces through big windows is one of the fantastic characteristic of this architecture.


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April 23, 2017 11:21 by Anonymous
relation between spaces, portions, and very good harmonizing between inside and elevation is wonderful. good light and traveling nature to inside spaces through big windows is one of the fantastic characteristic of this architercture.


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April 07, 2017 20:05 by Anonymous
Bad product choice for track lighting.


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April 05, 2017 13:11 by Anonymous
John Shnier did great work


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April 05, 2017 13:11 by Anonymous
John Shnier did great work


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April 03, 2017 15:41 by Anonymous
Great solution to the boring ceiling problem.


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