Granny’s House by Studio of Contemporary Architecture SOCA

Granny’s House by Studio of Contemporary Architecture SOCA

Project: Granny’s House
Architects: Studio of Contemporary Architecture (SOCA)
Construction: David Watts Construction Ltd.
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Status: Completed 2019
Photos: Andrew Snow, Jessie Lau
Text by SOCA

Granny’s House – located in Toronto’s east-end, was the former home of Tura Cousins Wilson’s grandmother. After her passing, Cousins Wilson redesigned the house in honour of her legacy and to accommodate the family’s next generation.

Granny’s House by Studio of Contemporary Architecture SOCA

The design is structured around a 19’ high void created out of what was formerly her bedroom, which was relocated to make a new master bedroom on the third floor. Other than a stained glass window there were few architecturally significant elements in the house, and with the discovery of mold, asbestos and a deteriorating structure, much of what was existing had to be demolished. The void provides a means to evoke the memory of her spirit through the emptiness of what was once there.

Granny’s House by Studio of Contemporary Architecture SOCA

Acting as a double height space in the centre of the house, the void opens up the Toronto-Edwardian home to daylight and visual connectivity between floors. Located over the void’s north-west window is a 4’x6’ acrylic on mylar painting by artist Rajni Perera titled “Violetta” (aka granny) which creates a colourful stained glass effect from the setting summer sun. Stern in presence, yet warm at heart, this piece recalls the spirit of a Jamaican-Canadian matriarch, as she looks down to the dining room below.

Granny’s House by Studio of Contemporary Architecture SOCA

Working with archival photos, the front porch was rebuilt to its former glory and painted in a bright yellow to honour her favourite colour and recall the vibrancy of the many colourful homes in her native Jamaica. As such, the yellow provides a splash of Caribbean warmth to Toronto’s monotony of grey during the winter months.

dining area, Studio of Contemporary Architecture SOCA

Understanding that his family arrangements today will eventually change, it was important to design a house that could accommodate future living configurations. This was primarily done through the creation of a sun-filled basement with polished concrete floors and pine-trimmed windows. Currently a separate apartment unit, the basement can easily be modified as family circumstances evolve.

plan section

Granny’s House by Studio of Contemporary Architecture SOCA

bedroom, Studio of Contemporary Architecture SOCA

bathroom, Contemporary Architecture SOCA

Granny’s House by Studio of Contemporary Architecture SOCA

Most Recent

Most Popular

Highland East House

Highland East House by COLAB Architecture + Urban Design

The Highland East House is a 4,300 square foot, five-bedroom, four-bathroom residence located in Portland’s SW Hills. The design harkens back to a Pacific Northwest style of mid-century modern houses constructed in Portland in the nineteen sixties.
Modern Living Space 13

Modern Living Space by Sue Murphy Interior Design

This project is a modern living space designed by Sue Murphy Interior Design based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. A bold, contemporary kitchen-dinning space with a...
Minimalist Single Storey Terrace House by Fabian Tan Architect 5

Minimalist Single Storey Terrace House / Fabian Tan Architect

The house is a typical single storey terrace house on a plot of 23' x 75' land. The original house layout is typically closed and the brief was to create an open plan on one side and private rooms on the other side of the dividing center wall.
Fish Creek House - a Small, Off-the-Grid Holiday Home by ArchiBlox

Fish Creek House, a Small Off-the-Grid Holiday Home by ArchiBlox

The Fish Creek House was designed to maximize sustainability & liveability. Careful positioning takes full advantage of natural cooling, heating, and lighting.

Modern Australian Farm House with Passive Solar Design

This modern Australian farm house was designed by Archterra Architects in Margaret River, Western Australia. Description by Archterra: This house sits along a ridge between...

More Articles Like This

HomeWorldDesign