Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Architecture Wednesday: House Within a House

The "house within a house" in Toronto is the brainchild of architect Michael Hatch, who designed and built the home in 1982. The Cabbagetown residence offers spacious living areas, effortless indoor/outdoor flow and a restored Victorian cottage façade inside its multilevel interior.

Hatch felt a need to preserve the 1860s cottage structure by designing a new dwelling around it, and blending the two eras inside. He installed refinished hardwood floors and ran them throughout the ground level to connect the living spaces. 

Spread across three levels, the property presents a spacious layout, with the main living areas nestled on the ground floor, with dining room and sitting area located in what might have once been the front yard of the cottage, while the new kitchen and living areas were built behind the old façade. At the rear of the living room is a wall of windows which open to  a deck, a large fenced-in yard and a detached two-car garage with a TESLA charging station.

But step back into the dining room and step up the stairs in the light-filled atrium, a steel-and-glass staircase that unites the various levels and is a juxtaposition of industrial chic set against the 160-year-old cottage.

On the second floor, behind the original cottage walls is the primary suite, with an ensuite bath whose frosted windows appear on the cottage façade, as well  as the sleeping area with skylights and roof top deck. A second bedroom is also on the floor, while a third is up the staircase, under the eaves of the new home.

I love the industrial nature of the house mixed with the old cottage still façade between the dining and living areas. It’s the best of the old and the new.

As always, click to emBIGGERate ...


Mistress Maddie said...

I love when architects do this. We are always to quick to tear down and not preserve in this country. Over all I like it, and it's in Canada, another plus. I especially enjoy the parts of the home in the old part...a nice mix of old and new...the expansion is a bit to modern and cold for me, but could live with it. Maybe paint the walls dark.

The exterior is spectacular.

the dogs' mother said...

Interesting solution to
the remodeling issues
xoxo :-)

Moving with Mitchell said...

I love this. Playful, charming, creative, cool!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Very cool! Cabbagetown was once a notorious slum in Toronto, home to Irish immigrants. Now, of course, it's an upscale gentrified area for the rich.

I don't know about having that portrait of a horse's head above the bed. A bit disturbingly "Godfather-ish," don't you think?

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Loves it!
I'm with Maddie. Preserving parts of a dwelling always adds charm and character. Love the floors and all the glass. You know I love modern architecture, so this is right up my alley.


Dave R said...

I could live there, though the white walls would have to go... and that horsehead painting? I see I'm not the only one to think of the Corleone family.

Steve Reed said...

Love all the windows, though I'd be worried about leaky skylights over the beds!

Bob said...

I, too, love the saving of the old exterior.
Normally, I like a dark wall—in our house we have midnight blues and forest greens and blacks, but for some reason I like the white in this one.

Nice way to save a bit of history and reuse it!

It is quite unexpected and I love that.

I read in Dwell that it was in a section called Cabbagetown, but didn’t know anything about it. Quite a departure.
I guess if it was a severed horse’s head I might find it odd.

@ Six
I love the old and the new, and the unexpected façade inside the house!

I like the painting. I am not getting Godfather.

I always hear people talking about leaky skylights. We’ve had them in this house for the fourteen years we’ve owned it, and they’ve been here much longer and never leaked.
But, yeah, if those did leak, it’d make for a bad night’s sleep!

uptonking said...

Very stunning. Lots of good ideas. The floors are super rich. A tad on the cool side, but nice.

Janie Junebug said...

I see I'm not the only one to be surprised by the horse's head. Take it away! The house is interesting but too neutral for me. I want some color that pops!


Bob said...

I am totally missing this aversion to the horse's head.
And, while I do like color, which we have like crazy in our house,
this white I somehow like!


Travel said...

I really like parts of it, I would need to finish the kitchen,

Bob said...

I love the floors, too.

I'd splash a little paint around in some spots.

VRCooper said...

I love the concept BUT it looks a little busy...I like the last picture of the floor plans...Let's one see how it all interconnects...Love the way the bedrooms are separate and not back to back next to each other...That concept has always bothered me...I like soundproofing between bedrooms to really have privacy and one can blast Bararbra S...Love that there is a powder room on the first floor...There better be with all that space...Don't want folks moving through my house finding a WC...My bedroom will be on the third floor...The bad thing is that I have to go down the stairs to pee...For guests OK...They won't be up there too long...Love the restoration...Yes, we in America are quick to tear down and not incorporate or restore the old...

Bob said...

Oh the bathroom's just down one floor. A few nightlights and you're good to go!

brewella deville said...

A nice little mini-park for a backyard, too.