By Rita Roy Choudhury
Photography: Alex Lukey & SilverHouse; courtesy v2com
Read Time: 2 mins
This modern renovated 110-year-old beach home responds to both - being “green” with a low carbon footprint, and the overall “feel” of the area...
Surrounded by beaches in a charming laid-back neighbourhood of Toronto, is this elegant contemporary interpretation of the beach house conceived by German architect, Felix Leicher. Incorporating the need to be green, he concentrates on creating a home that consumes low energy and runs on low maintenance in the long term.
To achieve this, Felix zeroes in on a white reflective outside with deeply grooved metal panels for the sides and the roof; and polished, sophisticated white interiors. For natural cooling and heating, the front and the rear of the house uses thermally modified wooden planks, which are connected to the side panels by open joints, creating a building envelope that reduces leakage of air, effective for indoor climate control. While the original bay window and front porch are retained, they are strategically shifted to render a modern asymmetrical appearance in order to provide more natural light, eliminating the need for electric lighting during the day.
In the interiors, the four-level home boasts an open plan that provides a continuous, spacious living area to include the drawing room, the family rooms and the kitchen, all enveloped in a natural wood cocoon. Recyclable materials such as copper are used wherever possible, to reduce carbon footprint.
Playing off the building materials, the white walls and ceilings, white-washed solid oak floors with occasional accents of wood trim lining the windows bring the outside in, creating a harmonious, contemporary and spacious beach house feel. Even the shower doors are glass as if to extend the eye to the length and breadth of the room; floor-to-ceiling windows further augment space and exploit natural light.
A truly remarkable observation - occasional sparse louvered screens are the only design element used to divide the space. This sophisticated mature space provides a canvas for the owner’s eclectic art collection; and almost naturally, the art becomes the focus here.
The layered design with its combination of open spaces creates a compact building volume - testimony to smart design and layout with a near-zero carbon footprint.
Project Name: 46H
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
Design & Development: baukultur/ca
Designer: Felix Leicher
Contractor: Tipeq Inc.
Use: Detached House; Residential Single Dwelling
Size: 3 storeys + finished basement; 2,880 sqft