April 16, 2013
RAVINE HOUSE IN THE BEACHES TORONTO
INTERIOR & EXTERIOR IMPROVEMENTS
A 1930’s 2-storey brick dwelling had undergone numerous changes in past decades, with wood frame additions to one side and the back, and various interior renovations. Perched on the edge of a steep ravine, views from the back look out to the treetops.
The goal was to simplify and bring clarity to the interior plan, to take advantage of the ravine views by opening back walls and to treat each floor area as a viewing platform to the exterior.
The house was wrapped with insulation, finished on the exterior with insulation, finished on the exterior with stucco, allowing the thick brick walls to act as a thermal mass. A new front porch was added and the front entrance redesigned.
The stairway was relocated off the centre area of the house and re-built using timber recovered from a sick tree in the front yard. Wood floors are of salvaged and refinished materials.
Wood and brick express the structure while metal is used for a spiral stair leading to a suspended library catwalk.
The side extension, a former porch was re-built and had the underside of its wood frame gable roof exposed to make a double-height living room. The double-height space was used to stack books with a new catwalk level and spiral stair.
The back walls of the house were opened and new windows arranged to frame views of the ravine, tree canopy and sky.
The kitchen was relocated and arranged for functional food preparation and comfortable activity whether for two or twenty people.
Bathrooms were renewed using natural finishes. Wood cabinets are of salvaged wood. Fixtures and finishes throughout the house were tastefully selected by the owner.
The basement floor was lowered, radiant floor heating was installed, and the basement interior finished with durable healthy material; windows to the back were enlarged to bring in more light.
The result is a house of proportioned spaces, each a platform to view and experience the changing seasons.
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