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Cedarvale Ravine House, Toronto, Canada

Thursday 05 Jan 2012

Contemporary living

Drew Mandel Architects 
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A home which evolves iconic glass house for contemporary family lifestyle with a spectacular setting 

This in-fill residential project is located at the threshold into the mid-town Toronto Cedarvale neighbourhood Ravine. Ravines are Toronto's low profile but most defining physical characteristic. Running through many of the city's neighbourhoods, the typical residential streetscape shifts dramatically from the front to the wild landscape beyond. The sculpted building volume is more than a pavilion in a park. The project evolves the iconic glass house for a contemporary family lifestyle engaged and connected to its protected woodland setting.

An indirect circulation path modulates through a series of intimate and expansive spaces and courtyards to a glass-enclosed single-story volume at the rear of the property. It is the kitchen and family room and the heart of the house. Large expanses of glass dematerialize the stone building and dissolve boundaries between the interior and exterior.

At the second floor, a zinc-clad cantilevered superstructure frames views and gestures to the woodlands. It alludes to an infinite space below and beyond and allows the re-naturalized ravine plantings to be brought farther into the site.  A lap pool reflects light into the space under the second floor cantilever.

The private areas located on the second floor have operable floor-to-ceiling glazing with sliding interior wooden shutters.  The system allows one to control sunlight, privacy, air flow, and noise as desired.

In addition to sleeping areas, the second floor also affords access to a green roof. It contains a vegetable garden for family meals, insulates the one-story family room-kitchen below, and provides both visual appeal to second floor spaces and additional useable exterior space.

This abstract ravine house is intent on celebrating the everyday rituals of residential life and enhancing the slow unfolding experience of a special site.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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Drew Mandel Architects

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