Lift House

Our redesign of this heritage home opens up a previously inward-looking layout to create a layered and contiguous plan that diffuses natural light across the house, lifting the spirit and the eye. 

With a window on the north wall, this whimsical dining room stays bright and cozy all day.
The new stair threads through the house like a ribbon and features looping metalwork that complements the arched niches on the ground floor.

Project
Description

Named for the uplifting ways in which our full renovation of this heritage home in Rosedale orients light, spaces, and sightlines, Lift House combines serenity, flow, and playful design elements to invigorate the senses.

The overarching conceit for the project was to let more light in and create more opportunities for the eye to wander out. This required introducing additional glazing, without compromising the home’s thermal performance or any of its heritage elements, and reshuffling the ground-floor plan to foster more coherence and communication between spaces in a house that had already undergone three previous renovations. Our goal was for every room to have its place and purpose, but remain in conversation with the adjacent spaces, including the outdoors.

We relocated the formal and private areas (the dining room and office) on the north side of the home, creating more spaciousness and contiguity across the central spaces — the kitchen, living room, and sitting room — to capitalize on south-facing light and views to the lush landscape at the rear of the home. Floor-to-ceiling glazing draws the backyard directly into the home and sliding glass doors adjacent to the living and sitting rooms open up the house to the garden, effectively extending the home’s footprint during the warmer months to create an indoor-outdoor oasis.

Cascading down from under the new skylight, the gently looping stairwell threads through the house like a ribbon. We expanded the volume of both the entry and the stairwell to open up the ground floor to the skylight above, enabling more light to filter down and radiate out across this north-facing section of the home. A widened foyer also enabled us to carve out a direct sightline from the front door through the house out to the backyard.

The twin niches that sit between the foyer and the main space define a threshold between the more traditional detailing on the north side of the house and the contemporary lines characteristic of the south. Their arches complement the undulations of the staircase and contrast the other rectilinear design elements, catching and diffusing light softly across the space.

Images: Shai Gil

Project
Information

Type
Residential
Location
Toronto, ON
Client
Private
Year
2023
Size
6,500 sf
Team
PMPROJECTS (Interior Decor), Kieffer Structural Engineering (Structural), Zaab Consulting (Mechanical), Holbrook + Associates (Landscape), Bruce Tree Expert Company (Arborist), Eisner Murray (Construction Manager), IBW Surveyors (Survey)

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