Dream House Friday is a new weekly feature where we daydream a little over beautifully designed, enviable homes around the globe. To kick off the series, I've chosen a project from Toronto, the city I emigrated from when I moved to England eleven years ago. Hometown love aside, it's an especially interesting project due to the property's two unique façades - the front of the house is heritage while the rear is distinctly modern. "At first glance, each side appears to be different, however upon a closer look you begin to understand how they are related,” says Gianpiero Pugliese, Principal of Audax, the architecture and interior design firm that oversaw the renovation.
The owners of Bilateral House, a married couple with three children, purchased a lot with a 116-year-old Period Revival home in a mature, picturesque neighbourhood in the city. As avid collectors of contemporary art and vintage furniture, they wanted to build a modern gallery-inspired home with high ceilings to display their collections artfully. However, shortly after purchasing their property, the house was designated as Heritage and could not be demolished. Responding to the homeowners’ vision and the City’s requirement to keep the front half of the original house, Audax sensitively restored and rebuilt the heritage façade and designed a modern addition in the rear. The design solution ensured that both sides of the house still related to each other.
Bilateral House features all of the modernist elements that so enamour us design lovers: geometry and clean lines, the textural and tonal contrasts of warm woods and cool concrete, window walls, and fantastic staircases. But then it goes beyond the tidy aesthetics and busts out some wonderful surprises, such as its unconventional, minimalist foyer; a graphic art installation that serves as a partition separating living spaces; a peaked gable end on the third floor that offers a cozy retreat with a view to the outdoors; and a basement washroom styled on the look and function of a school washroom, complete with stalls doors scrawled in graffiti, terrazzo floors and a communal foot pedal basin, all of which makes it feel like the family home that it is.
Let's tour the house, beginning with the heritage front facade:
Audax is an award-winning architecture and interior design firm with expertise in the luxury real estate and hospitality market. Under the design leadership of Gianpiero Pugliese, the firm's work is motivated by Human Architecture, a design approach developed by the studio that combines the best elements of traditional architecture with a modern aesthetic.
All photos by Shai Gil