Site size: 4,170 sf Project size: 1,948 sf

Program: The clients—two teachers with a love of art and design—owned a contemporary semi-detached house on a nontraditional site, with a backyard that doglegged behind the neighboring yards. The large lot provided a unique opportunity to construct a highly personal, custom home from scratch.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Solution: In conceiving this house’s shape, silhouette, and material palette, the designers took cues from familiar forms seen around the neighborhood, like garden sheds and small garages. The same shingle cladding wraps around the sides and roof of the house—an effect heightened by a lack of eaves. Depending on the viewer’s perspective, the angled roofline allows the house to appear either rectangular or triangular in plan. The overall design is imbued with a sense of surprise. Many features, such as the spindle legs on the kitchen island and the Victorian-themed wallpaper in the powder room, reference historical designs. A pop of color contrasts with the largely white interior—a muted backdrop for the homeowners’ furniture and art. An array of seemingly random windows of different sizes flood the spaces with light.

Construction and materials: The LEED Silver, wood frame house makes use of extensive passive ventilation systems, including operable windows that tilt at the top, allowing continuous airflow regardless of precipitation, and separate windows in each room for view and ventilation. The driveway is surfaced with gravel made from recycled roofing, while the composite shingles covering the outer surface of the home are made from primarily recycled/reclaimed materials.

Completion date: 2015

Additional Information

Total project cost: withheld 



Reigo & Bauer
1213 Bathurst Street,
Toronto, ON
P: 416-533-3203
F: 647-344-9095

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:

Partners Merike and Stephen Bauer (Neither are registered architects; Stephen Bauer is an Intern Architect) 



General contractor:

Stockridge Construction Ltd. 


Lisa Petrole and Tom Arban


Storm water management:

Fabian Papa & Partners Inc




Structural System: Wood frame construction

Manufacturer of any structural components unique to this project:

To avoid costly elements, all of the structural systems were designed to employ standard wood frame construction details.

Exterior Cladding

Other cladding unique to this project:

The outer surface, both the roof and wall, is a composite roof shake manufactured by Enviroshake® made from 95% recycled/reclaimed materials. The entry facade is finished with a Three-Coat Stucco system. Directly applied to the wood sheathing is a waterproof layer, welded wire lath, a scratch coat, a brown coat, and a finish coat.


The roof and walls are clad in the same material.


Metal frame:

Windows are a steel re-inforced vinyl from Rehau, by EuroVinyl.



Skylight is aluminium clad wood by Velux.

Interior Finishes

Wall coverings:

Wallpaper in Powder Room by Elli Popp through Are & Be
Wallpaper on column Scrapwood by NLXL through Are & Be

Floor and wall tile:

Entry tile: porcelain tile “Jujol Basalto” through Mettro Source

Ensuite tile: porcelain tile “Palau Celeste” through Mettro Source


Blue carpet on stairs - LEED certified carpet from Object Carpet through Are & Be


Other furniture:

Kitchen island design by Reigo & Bauer fabricated by Filo Timo.

Kitchen exhaust hood cover and backsplash deigned by Reigo & Bauer fabricated by Filo Timo

Kitchen shelving system by Rakks.


Interior ambient lighting:

Entry and powder room wall sconces by Schoolhouse Electric

Uplight wall sconces on second floor  “Surf Micro” by Artemide through Dark Tools


The infill development makes use of existing city infrastructure and passive ventilation is used in place of mechanical air conditioning. All operable windows tilt in at the top allowing continuous rain protected airflow and every room has separate windows for view and ventilation, maximizing frame-to- daylight opening ratio. The driveway is surfaced in gravel sourced from recycled roofing. The cladding (and roofing) is non- combustible, maintenance free, made from 95% recycled and recyclable material, and silvers over time like real wood.The house is certified LEED Silver.