Situated on a corner lot in a dense neighborhood in Toronto, Canada, the Contrast House by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design is a modern rehabilitation of a 120-year old dwelling. According to the architects, the primary design challenge was to “increase natural light in the space, accomplished through both physical and perceptual means. The long, narrow house was reorganized in plan and in section, introducing new sight lines to the expanded openings at the rear of the house and updating the layout for a growing family.” The name of the project hints towards the contrasting elements spread around the house with the purpose of brightening internal spaces with no direct access to natural lighting.
The interiors are connected through a light stairway, said to increase the overall light flow. Special furniture elements contribute to the originality and charm of this Canadian family home: “From the tall black bookcases housing the owner’s colorful collectibles on the ground floor, the chalkboard wall for play on the second level, these bold, dark pieces, in combination with rich walnut floors and crisp white walls and ceilings, create contrast to produce an intensified effect.” After seeing the photos below, you will certainly appreciate the designers’ efforts in creating spaces filled with light and good vibes.
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.