- Project Name
- Andrea Mastandrea and Laleh Larijani
- Project Types
- Single Family
- Project Scope
- 1,730 sq. feet
- Project Status
- On the Boards/In Progress
This project was named an Award winner in the 68th Annual Progressive Architecture Awards, and was featured in the March 2021 issue of ARCHITECT.
"The brick and the scale of this project are approachable. It has a sense of familiarity; it is poetic. It’s not about boldness or newness, but it has this strange softness to it. It is considered." —Juror Koray Duman, AIA, principal, Büro Koray Duman
In Toronto, a striking sculptural brick pavilion will break the rhythm of a long row of generally undistinguished two-story houses on Wardell Street. Designed by local firm Ja Architecture Studio, the approximately 1,475-square-foot structure not only expands one of these single-family townhomes, but also fits neatly into a constrained wedge-shaped lot.
The steel-and-wood-framed addition allows the architects maximum flexibility in their willful form-making. At the same time, their decision to clad every exterior surface in brick allows the bold shape to play well with its more prosaic neighbors. The simple, straightforward design on a tricky site is both evocative and poetic, transforming an ordinary material typical of the neighborhood into something memorable both inside and out.
The main level of the three-level addition cantilevers slightly into the front yard, permitting a tall window to overlook the quiet residential street and establish a strong mutual relationship between interior and exterior. Configured as a dining room, the space connects directly to the existing house. The second floor of the house is expanded by the addition’s upper level, which receives ample southern sunlight through a dramatic light scoop and can serve as a winter garden or an additional bedroom. The front brick façade is perforated at this level for glimpses of the street without compromising privacy.
A narrow-arched passageway several feet below sidewalk level connects the front yard with a sunken terrace in the backyard while separating the lower levels of the existing and new construction. A commercial test kitchen in the addition can be accessed from the passageway or through an internal stair. A double-height window faces the rear yard and provides natural light and views for the kitchen and stair.
While the addition’s curved form is highly distinct and articulated, its functions are designed to permit maximum flexibility. In fact, each of the uses described above can, and presumably will, change over time.
Clients: Andrea Mastandrea and Laléh Larijani
Design Architect: Ja Architecture Studio, Toronto · Nima Javidi, Behnaz Assadi (partners); Kyle O’Brien, Rosa Newman, Kaveh Taherizadeh
Structural Engineer: Sepco Engineering
MEP Engineer: SustainGlobe
Planning Consultant: Sean Galbraith & Associates
Size: 800 square feet (new addition); 1,730 square feet (total building area)