Site size: 87,000 square feet
Project size: 16,244 square feet
A family that enjoys cooking and entertaining guests desired a spacious residence in suburban Toronto. The clients also wanted their house, an expansion and renovation of an existing structure, to reflect their Asian-Canadian background.
The Echo House is located on a flat, two-acre plot in the serene and verdant Bridle Path neighborhood of Toronto.
Architect Paul Raff sought to balance several objectives: to furnish ample room for socializing, to utilize traditional Asian craft techniques, and to harmoniously connect the family and their guests to the natural environment.
The house's 142-foot-long entrance facade of cloud-white and teal Algonquin limestone stretches out across the landscape and defers to the towering scale of surrounding pines. A dozen privacy screens of amber Douglas fir is create a sculptural, zigzag filigree over the glazed portions. These screens are assembled with dark metal fasteners directly inspired by a Korean traditional craftsmanship.
Passing through these screens you find an airy and capacious main living room with an 18ft ceiling and wrap-around clerestory windows. Sliding glass doors directly connect it to the tranquil space of the backyard. The first floor also comprises an indoor pool, a media room, a gymnasium, a library, and two guest bedrooms. Korean decorative patterns influenced the ornamental screen that hugs the stairs leading to the second floor photography darkroom and studio. Elsewhere on the second floor are three bedrooms and a yoga pavilion.
The Douglas fir cladding that encases a separate kitchen wing also makes use of traditional construction techniques. All the house's wood is reclaimed and bolsters its green credentials that also include a new hyper-efficient heating, cooling, and ventilation system, and a high-performance envelope. The end result is a house intimately connected to nature, tradition, and the needs of its residents.
The house is of a light wood frame construction and clad in limestone as well as sheathed in stucco.
Paul Raff Studio Inc. Architect
703 Bloor Street West
Toronto M6G 1L5 Canada
+1 416 365 7800
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Mechanical, Electric, and Plumbing:
CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Manufacturer of any structural components unique to this project:
Other cladding unique to this project: