Three rectilinear glass-and-steel boxes update an unconventional 100-year-old beach house in Toronto, adding extra space and a sense of modern flair without compromising the structure’s historic character. Drew Mandel Architects sought to uphold the house’s “elusive quality of heart and soul” while giving the interior a total refresh.
The clients had lived in the semi-detached, three-story beach-neighborhood house for 12 years prior to the renovation, and wanted interiors that feel in sync with their jet-setting lifestyle without adding a lot of unnecessary square footage.
The top-floor addition extends the living space upwards, providing a generous box window overlooking the sea. The lower box window frames the wood-lined interior and floating staircase, and opens the bottom floor to the light.
Another cuboid addition in the rear raises the living room ceiling and provides a connection to the garden, which the house was previously lacking. The result manages to meld beautifully with the original brick exterior, and retain a cozy feel.