Kariouk Associates completes modern conversion of Victorian house
The clients for this extensive renovation were very clear in their architectural mandate: 'to marry eighty-four years of history by integrating a contemporary, open, and functional living space with a 1924 Victorian home overlooking the Rideau Canal' - a World Heritage Site.
Their specific spatial requirements called for private spaces: a study that could accommodate several thousand books, a den, and a master-bedroom suite. In order to achieve the seemingly paradoxical request for a loft-like home but with spaces as private as the former Victorian ones, the study, den and 'book vault' are designed as distinct volumes suspended inside the larger, four-storey volume. Because these volumes 'float' high up within the now-emptied shell of the original house, they achieve the required visual privacy from the public areas below while maintaining openness.
At the top level, the master-bedroom suite cantilevers over the front facade and also appears as a distinct, floating volume. In this way, the former attic space of the Victorian house is redesigned to provide for light and canal views where none existed before, and, due to its elevated position, it does so while maintaining privacy.