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Odami Renovates and Seamlessly Integrates a New Addition to the Deer Park House

 

Deer Park House is the renovation of and addition to a century home in Toronto, Canada, approached with the desire to respect and tie into the history and architectural character of the existing house. This principle carries through in both the organizational scheme and in the interior and exterior detailing. Rather than forcing a completely open plan, we embraced the idea of distinct rooms with their own moods, all tied together throughout the house by the winding central staircase. On the exterior, the new third floor borrows from examples found throughout the neighbourhood in an attempt to seamlessly integrate with the existing volume of the house, and with the existing streetscape. Together, this renovation provides a contemporary continuation of the house’s past life.

Architizer chatted with Aránzazu González Bernardo from Odami to learn more about this project.

Architizer: What inspired the initial concept for your design?

Aránzazu González Bernardo: The existing house was very ready for change – it remained largely untouched since the 1950s – but it was so well cared-for and had such strong character that we really wanted to highlight and use this to provoke the design direction. In that regard, the design really took as many cues as possible from the existing house. We largely respected the fundamental organizational scheme of the house – working with individual rooms rather than pushing for an open floor plan. The interior design really worked to amplify this idea: we introduced more textured materials like lime paint, marble, and wood to differentiate these rooms, and then we articulated the thresholds between them with quartz cladding. Between these spaces, the central staircase is treated as neutrally and softly as possible as a sort of fluid space which ties together old and new.

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© Odami

© Odami

© Odami

What do you believe is the most unique or ‘standout’ component of the project?

As a way of paying homage to the existing house, we tried to preserve as many components as possible and tie them in with the more contemporary language of the renovation. There are two prominent moments where we do this. We all fell in love with this small hardwired clock that was above the peninsula in the former kitchen, and this became an important feature in the new space, reinstalled above the range. Furthermore, the previous exterior staircase was taken over as interior space in the new scheme, allowing for some extra storage and a more interesting entry sequence. Rather than simply demolishing the previous doorway and awning, however, we simply refinished the existing vaulted ceiling, and kept the transom of the old front door in place. This felt like a nice marker of the former configuration – a tangible remnant of the past.

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© Odami

© Odami

© Odami

What was the greatest design challenge you faced during the project, and how did you navigate it?

The greatest design challenge was integrating the new third floor. It had to be large enough to serve the clients’ spatial needs, but we wanted to make sure it didn’t feel too bulky and out of scale with the rest of the street. To navigate this, we explored the different ways that this has been approached throughout the neighbourhood, and worked with these examples to inform the way the new volume was thought relative to the roof of the second floor.

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© Odami

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© Odami

How did the context of your project — environmental, social or cultural — influence your design?

The project was entirely thought through context, in particular in terms of how we tried to integrate the new third floor. We found that many of the other houses that integrated third floor spaces developed the second floor roof as the dominant roofline, and disguised the third floor as a dormer, making them feel more like two-storey houses and therefore more appropriate in terms of scale. This ultimately became the strategy that we adopted as well.

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© Odami

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© Odami

How have your clients responded to the finished project?

When one of our clients first saw the exterior of the house after the scaffolding came down, he told us that the third floor looked “like it’s always been there.” This was exactly what we had hoped for!

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© Odami

© Odami

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Team Members

Aránzazu González Bernardo, Michael Fohring

Consultants

McCallum HVAC Design

For more on Deer Park House, please visit the in-depth project page on Architizer.

The post Odami Renovates and Seamlessly Integrates a New Addition to the Deer Park House appeared first on Journal.

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