Palmerston House

Toronto, Canada

Toronto contemporary home with wood and stone siding and naturalized landscaping
Backyard of Modern Toronto home with Ipe decking concrete pavers and walk-out basement

Designed for a single resident in downtown Toronto, this home makes optimal use of a compact urban lot, providing a high level of amenity within a constrained footprint.  A broad selection of sustainable technologies help set this project apart from others in the neighbourhood.

The 2,400 square foot building can be broken down into a series of simple diagrams depicting each space and their unique relationship to adjacent areas; in essence the building forms a deep tubular structure which has been divided into simple strips of program horizontally and vertically. Overall, this enabled simple paths of circulation and enhanced direct relationships between differing spaces.

Designed for a single resident to enjoy in the heart of Toronto’s downtown core, this residence makes great use of a compact city lot but remains functional, providing all that is required for everyday city living.  A broad selection of sustainable technologies help set this project apart from others in the neighbourhood.

The 2,400 square foot building can be broken down into a series of simple diagrams depicting each space and their unique relationship to adjacent areas; in essence the building forms a deep tubular structure which has been divided into simple strips of program horizontally and vertically. Overall, this enabled simple paths of circulation and enhanced direct relationships between differing spaces.

Open stairway to second floor continuous stainless steel countertop with breakfast bar and table

Due to fire regulations, no windows are permitted in the side walls of the house. Because of this, the pre-existing interior had little access to natural light, feeling smaller than it actually was. Our design provides a large stair opening between the first and second stories. This device greatly expands the interior; the generous double-height space breaks up the linearity of the main level, adding a feeling of height to an otherwise long, low volume, while a large roof window fills the centre of the home with sunlight. Floor-to-ceiling windows at either end of the space fulfill a similar purpose, providing ample daylight and natural ventilation. 

Open concept contemporary home with stainless steel countertops and open stairways

Due to fire regulations, no windows are permitted in the side walls of the house. Because of this, the pre-existing interior had little access to natural light, feeling smaller than it actually was. Our design provides a large stair opening between the first and second stories. This device greatly expands the interior; the generous double-height space breaks up the linearity of the main level, adding a feeling of height to an otherwise long, low volume, while a large roof window fills the centre of the home with sunlight. Floor-to-ceiling windows at either end of the space fulfill a similar purpose, providing ample daylight and natural ventilation. 

Living room washed with floor to ceiling windows and custom built in entertainment system

We were very aware of the need to subtly integrate the building into the existing streetscape, and so were mindful of introducing materials that drew from the surrounding neighbourhood. The design team were immediately drawn to the use of brick and softly contrasting wood siding, both of which are abundant in the area.