Award of Merit – ARIDO 2014


ARIDO (Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario)

Thorncrest House, Toronto, ON 


Situated in a quiet Etobicoke residential neighbourhood, Thorncrest House stands out as a contemporary gem within its surroundings. The dwelling’s distinctive blue zinc cladding and Spanish cedar accents create a unique street presence alongside the suburban beige villas. The house accommodates a family of six and their guests, respectively. Spatial optimization is achieved by arranging rooms within the house on a variety of levels allowing for an open plan layout. An elevated catwalk surrounds the central double height living room with ample glazing on the front and back facades allowing for the adjacent vegetation to flow into the living quarters. The informal design of the surrounding natural landscaping softens the industrial quality of the architecture. Wood accents reoccur throughout the house to provide warmth and wellbeing. Timber covers the raised floors, and wraps around ceilings and feature walls. A wood finish is also used for built-in as well as free-standing cabinetry. Thorncrest House features a balanced material palette on the exterior as well as the interior. It looks great during all seasons! Contemporary bursts of colour also appear throughout the home. Close attention to detail is evident in the construction as well as the interior finishing of the house.

Thorncrest House was designed with the environment in mind. It incorporates a variety of sustainable features such as natural ventilation and daylighting.  Particular attention was paid to natural daylight exposure at the basement walkout, easing its transition to grade via a sunken pool, deck and grass terraces. Deep roof overhangs; cantilevered volumes, and the surrounding mature trees provide shading. The house uses passive solar heating and cooling alongside radiant in-floor heating. Non-toxic materials and finishes were used as well as low energy lighting & appliances. The dwelling embodies a high performance envelope design with Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), which provides endless benefits for the residents. Thorncrest House is a healthy dwelling that can be proudly used as a model for sustainable residential twenty first century design.


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