Residential ArchitectureHousesTraditional Somber Interior Redesigned into a Modern Environment

Traditional Somber Interior Redesigned into a Modern Environment

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Project: Traditional Somber Interior Redesigned
Architects: Taylor Smyth Architects
Location: Toronto, Canada
Photo Credits: Virginia Macdonald

Built in 1960, Gallery house has been completely redesigned by Toronto-based Taylor Smyth Architects.

The transformation of a somber traditional interior into a joyful modern open environment was designed to be a vessel for the clients’ extensive art collection, as well as a family focused environment for their three children. Built in the 1960’s, the existing house mimicked an Arts and Crafts vernacular with dark wood panelling and a labyrinth of rooms. The house was gutted, and walls relocated to create an open flow of space. Avid art collectors, the owners requested a flexible environment to showcase their growing collection. A new floating stair of oak treads on white painted steel links the ground and second floor. The kitchen/family room beyond features a palette of wide plank oak flooring, walnut millwork, leathered Calcutta marble and stainless steel.

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The master bedroom ceiling was substantially raised to take advantage of the unused space in the attic above, and the end wall was opened up to create a wall of glass looking out to the garden. In the master bathroom, a variety of different materials and textures are used to create a rich composition – acid etched black mirror, black granite, textured black tile and ebony coloured wood – in response to the client`s request for an all black bathroom.

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The exterior of the house was substantially retained with the exception of the Elizabethan style infill of stucco and wood within the dominant triangular gables. These were re-clad in a modern interpretation of the Elizabethan style, using black stained wood panels divided randomly with strips of clear anodized aluminum.

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