Toronto, ON Architects: Dubbeldam Architecture + Design Date of completion:
2015OAA Awards 2016 Design Excellence Winner
Situated on a narrow lot in an older Toronto neighbourhood, the Skygarden House provides a fresh interpretation of the traditional pitched roof house, referencing the domestic scale and form of its neighbours while utilizing an unequivocally modern architectural language. At the heart of the house is the owner’s desire for a better connection to the home’s natural surroundings and a wish for the house to be as sustainable as possible.
The "skygarden". Photo credit: Shai Gil
Helping make the house feel more extensive, many of the rooms expand to a series of outdoor spaces, each with its own unique character and level of privacy. The rear yard is landscaped and features two zones: an ash wood deck, and a zone defined by granite pavers and a row of honey locust trees. The existing porch at the front of the house has been remade into a private outdoor dining room, enclosed by a five-foot-high wood screen. On the third floor, two outdoor spaces provide green respite: at the back of the house, an exposed roof deck provides views over the neighbourhood; at the front, an intimate exterior space – a “skygarden” - is carved into the master bedroom, clad in wood with a recessed planter and an opening into the roof for access to light, rainwater, and views of green.
Photo credit: Shai Gil
The complete overhaul of the house resulted in a significant reduction in its ecological footprint. To achieve the most efficient methods of heating, cooling and lighting while minimizing costs, the mechanical and electrical systems are integrated with passive design strategies. The open plan is organized around a central vertical volume containing the sculptural open-riser stair. An operable skylight above draws natural light deep into the interior and improves natural ventilation through stack effect, reducing the need for air conditioning. The abundance of glazing coupled with the house’s east-west orientation results in plenty of natural light, decreasing the need for artificial lighting. Deciduous vegetation on the site screens the west façade to mitigate glare and excessive heat gain in summer months, but in winter, when the leaves are gone, solar gain from low sun helps heat the house.
Photo credit: Shai Gil
Skygarden House is a modern home that considers the context of the street and carefully reimagines its interior spaces and their relationship to the outdoors.
To view the complete submission, including additional images and drawings, please click here.
This post (15/20) is part of the OAA Awards 2016 Design Excellence Finalists blOAAg series celebrating the best of Ontario architecture. Every day during the month of March we will be posting a new finalist. You can view all posts by clicking here. Winners will be announced April 1, 2016.