Toronto home by StudioAC is a balance of volumes and ideas
Everden house, a Toronto home by StudioAC, is a balance of traditional and contemporary
The clients of Everden house, a new-build Toronto home, asked for an ‘unapologetically contemporary’ residence, when they approached local architects StudioAC with the commission; and they certainly got their wish. The project, set in a residential suburb, was created with a distinctly 21st-century feel, a mix of clean shapes, warm wood and minimalist architecture. At the same time, it responds to the desire of the owners – a family – to have something ‘unique’, while retaining cues to the traditional ideas of a ‘house’.
The result? A three-storey residence made up of a stack of geometric volumes that culminate to a distinctive gabled roof. Tall and slender, if you squint, the home might even appear like a typical narrow terrace. But upon approach, it is clearly a contemporary construction, conceived to interpret archetypal visions of the house into a modern domestic space. The experience of walking through and living in the house, with its wood-clad interiors and large windows, should evoke the feeling of a space that is impactful, ‘but not indulgent’, according to its authors.
The architects, headed by studio founders Jennifer Kudlats and Andrew Hill, elaborate: ‘We were interested in elevating this phenomenon beyond motif to a spatial experience that defined a narrative throughout the project. A gabled space on level three relates to the roofline, but a decision was made that the ground floor, often relegated to cubic space, should be provided with a gable extrusion as well, enhancing the sense of “house” across the shared living spaces. This combined a planometric and material direction that would emphasise a three-dimensional stacking and staggering that plays with the definition between form, space and motif.’
The design aims for something timeless but also livable, offering a balance between an exploration of an architectural theme, and a real family home. The interior’s warm and hardwearing timber surfaces are offset by a somewhat harder exterior, clad in corrugated metal – it’s ‘durable, affordable and familiar’, the architects explain. It’s just one more of the contrasts that give this Toronto home its identity, making it a subtle equilibrium of elements that seem at odds, but instead come together in a very contented whole. §