Architects: Barbora Vokac Taylor Architect
Project: Traditional 1950s House Renovation – Hibou House
Lead Architects: Barbora Vokac Taylor, Leon Lai
Location: Toronto, Canada
Area: 2156.0 ft2
Project Year 2017
Photographs: Scott Norsworthy
Hibou House was designed for a young family that values connection – both with one another and with their friends and neighbours. The renovation thoughtfully updates an existing traditional 1950’s house for a more modern lifestyle – one that feels relaxed and comfortable yet easily adapted for entertaining. The layout improves the flow between the spaces in a way that makes the most sense for how the family lives.
The material palette is both subdued and raw: Raw, unfinished steel details contrast the warm woods, and clean white volumes to create a subtle background for life to be lived – rather than previously maintained. The clean backdrop allows the family’s artwork and objects to stand out and be showcased.
Dark smoked oak floors work with a modest ceiling height to create a sense of warmth and intimacy within the larger, now open, layout. The custom millwork pieces function as large volumes, defining smaller spaces within the open plan, and custom details are located at key tactile moments, such as the custom flat bar steel handrail and panelled walnut guards.
The new addition – a minimal blackened wood-clad volume – contrasts with the bright light-filled interior and the large sliding doors and windows at rear of the house open up to maximize views to the garden creating a strong connection between the interior and exterior livable spaces.