Thorncrest House

Toronto
Photo © Greg van Riel
Photo © Greg van Riel
Photo © Greg van Riel
Photo © Greg van Riel
Photo © Greg van Riel
Photo © Greg van Riel
Photo © Greg van Riel
Photo © Greg van Riel
Photo © Greg van Riel
Photo © Greg van Riel
Architects
Altius Architecture Inc.
Location
Toronto
Year
2014

Located on a generous lot in Etobicoke’s Throncrest Village this design is an excellent example of a large single family home that doesn’t dominate the property but rather has a quiet presence on the street despite it’s bold contemporary design.

The fulcrum of this design is the central living room, a two storey featured, glazed on both sides connecting front and rear yards and balancing the two wings of the home.

Designed for a young family as their year round urban home the house needed to provide freedom for young children to play while allowing parents enjoy a variety of spaces in the home.

A pool and deck are sunken into the back yard providing privacy and a large opening to a basement walkout family room.

A bold contemporary material pallet features blue zinc, Spanish Cedar, glazed stucco, basalt and bright red accents in the interior millwork.

A central ethanol fireplace features a suspended illuminated hood constructed of translucent marble.

Carefully designed sight-lines provide the owners privacy while maintain large open views from the interior. Inside to out is often blurred as large panes of glass allow the outdoors to be experienced from numerous spaces within the home.

A elegant master ensuite combines customized closets, his and her vanities, soaker tub and generous shower and water closet. Sliding glass doors open the ensuite to the master bedroom or close it off while still maintaining natural light from the back yard.

Deep roof overhangs provide correct solar geometry to allow the house to take advantage of solar gain or seasonal shading complimenting the sophisticated mechanical system that provides zoned in-floor heating and air conditioning when the house isn’t being naturally ventilated.

“ ‘You’re very aware of what’s happening around you, both inside and out, all the time,’ Mr. Smith says. ‘It was designed very carefully to block views from neighbours, since we’re in the city here, of course, but with all the trees and openness, it feels a lot like a cottage. In summer, you have a real sense of woods and sky; and in winter, with the sun streaming in through the windows, you see right through it; the house seems to just “dissolve.” ‘ “
—National Post, August 8, 2014

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