While the owners of this Toronto house wanted to preserve its Queen Anne Revival exterior, the mansard roof and small windows didn’t translate to a lot of livable space for the family of four.
A married couple with two daughters, they needed modern bedrooms, larger closets, and a year-round connection between interiors and a backyard they felt they couldn’t fully appreciate because of the small, old windows. Local firm superkül began addressing the family’s brief by installing a 23-foot-wide dormer with three windows on the garden-facing side of the third-floor kids’ rooms, a step taken to “make the best of the plan, considering the original sloped ceilings and small windows,” says architect Meg Graham, a principal at superkül.
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To update the master bedroom, they went a step further and built a new addition to the second floor that extends 17 feet beyond the third-floor exterior wall, creating 420 square feet of new space on what was formerly roof, over the living room.
Building the new volume let the team make use of the house’s existing framework and foundation, while incorporating the creature comforts the couple requested within energy-efficient new walls.
As the chief beneficiary of the renovation, the master suite got a walk-in closet, soaking tub, and an entire glass wall. Superkül’s addition gave the clients a luxurious 170-square-foot bedroom with a 110-square-foot bathing area—a cozy refuge for its hard-working occupants. The new wall of windows is composed of argonfilled glass units for thermal insulation. Of course, it brings in an abundance of natural light.
In a dramatic engagement with nature, the freestanding en suite tub was left open to the bedroom and its expanse of glass. A nearly 10-foot-high partition, covered in handmade Moroccan tile on the bath-facing side, screens it from the bed. For an additional connection to the outdoors, architects positioned a 1-by-3-foot skylight above the tub for stargazing and to serve as an additional source of daylighting.
The lively patterned tile on the partition continues on the floor, to form a wet zone underneath the tub. The bed-facing side of the divider displays the large art piece, Pipe Dreams, a dye-on-linen work by Colleen Heslin.
With no walls in the way, both the bathing and sleeping areas enjoy sweeping views of the neighborhood and parkland beyond. “The client wanted a clean, natural palette in a calm, beautiful space,” says Graham.
superkül — Meg Graham, Andre D’Elia, principals; Deborah Wang, senior designer; Wendy Wisbrun, associate
Bowser Technical (mechanical)
Tub & Circular Mirror
Wood Paneling / Flooring
Delta Light (downlights);
Apparatus Studio (bathroom wall sconce);
David Weeks (bedside sconce)