Project: Riverdale Red House
Architects: ASQUITH Architecture
Structural Engineer: Blackwell
Location: Riverdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Area: 3,500 sq.ft.
Photo Credits: Nanne Springer
Text by ASQUITH Architecture
The residents of the Riverdale Red House in the Withrow Park area of Toronto were looking to replace their existing rear addition that was in a poor state of repair. The challenge was to design a beautiful, yet durable replacement. The solution was a modern structure housed in a high-performance building envelope with a fine balance of industrial and natural building materials.
The renewed space was designed for a family of five to house generous and flexible spaces that could accommodate change depending on the seasons, as the children grow or as family members age.
A strongly defined red metal cube overhangs the ground floor, protecting more delicate and tactile elements where the house opens to a sheltered garden. The tile red corrugated metal cladding is paired with mahogany wood doors and windows marrying these warm colour tones. The large sliding doors allow the living area to spill outside into an outdoor dining area. In turn, the garden provides a green backdrop to the interior space. Avid cyclists, the rear entry and mudroom allow good proximity to the bicycle shed in the garden.
Full height lockers are screened by a mahogany-stained wood slat screen separating the entry space from the main room. The lockers are optimally designed to house bike helmets and backpacks, with hooks and hanging space for coats and jackets and hidden drawers for mitts and hats. A bathroom complete with shower sits directly off the mudroom for easy access.
On the second floor, a large, open room provides a shared bedroom for two children, with a small balcony on the north side shaded by a mature oak tree. This room, planned with flexibility, could become a master suite in the future. A green roof on the top of the addition provides a landscaped view from the third floor of the existing house.