Toronto, Canada

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.

Construction methods:
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


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:
Design Director:
Paul Raff, OAA

Project Team:
Samantha Scroggie, Sean Solowski, Jane Son, Gary Siu, Scott Barker, Therese Baron

Project Assistants:
Ladan Sharifpour, Bryce Gracey

Interior designer:
Paul Raff Studio

Neuman Associates Limited

Mechanical, Electric, and Plumbing:
Takric Engineering Limited

Architectural Lighting Design (ALD)

General contractor:
SCE Construction

Ben Rahn/ A-Frame Inc.
Steve Tsai

Paul Raff Studio Inc. Architect

CAD system, project management, or other software used:



Structural system
Light wood frame construction

Manufacturer of any structural components unique to this project:
Reale Born Inc.

Exterior cladding
Solid exterior screen along north fa'ade supplied by YuillBuilt

Other cladding unique to this project:
Stone veneer cladding on north elevation exterior wall supplied by Owen Sound Ledgerock
Exterior stucco finish supplied by Granolite

Exterior parapets metal finish supplied by Colour Steels Inc.

Entry floor stone tile supplied by Trends and Trades

Exterior steps and driveway edging supplied by Cypress Hills Landscaping
Exterior stone ballast supplied by Parkview Building Supplies

Master bathroom glass film supplied by 3M
Bridge balustrade laminated safety glass supplied by NGI Design Glass Inc.

Door Studio (contact ' Beate Vueller)

Door Studio (contact ' Beate Vueller)

Interior finishes
Paints and stains:
Wall paint supplied by Benjamin Moore
Master bedroom wall paint supplied by Sherman Williams
Paint for exterior wood surround at front elevation provided by Benjamin More

Wall coverings:
Master bedroom, master en-suite vanity and headboard wood veneer supplied by Tabu Veneers

Solid surfacing:
Master vanity, counter top, and stone surround at pin board supplied by Crystal Tile and Marble
En-suite bathroom counter tops and stone sill walk-outs supplied by Crystal Tile and Marble
Bedroom desk counter tops supplied by Crystal Tile and Marble
Interior walk out sills and master bedroom countertop supplied by Crystal Tile
Bedroom hard surface desk top supplied by Crystal Tile

Special surfacing:
Floor and wall tile:
Ceramic floor tile (mud room, corridor at mud room, laundry room, kitchen/family room) supplied by Stone-Tile
Porcelain floor tile (bathrooms, powder room, indoor pool, steam room, change room, water closet, shower room) supplied by Stone-Tile
Shower floor tile (shower floor and bathrooms) supplied by Stone-Tile
Studio addition floor tile supplied by Stone-Tile
Fireplace stone hearth tile supplied by Stone-Tile
Fireplace stone wall supplied by Owen Sound Ledgerock
Dining room niche supplied by Crystal Tile and Marble
Washroom wall tile supplied by Stone-Tile
Pool/ spa wall tile supplied by Stone-Tile
Master en-suite bathroom mosaic wall tile supplied by Deco-Tile
Shower wall tile supplied by Deco Tile
Pool wall tile supplied by Edy Rodriguez
Studio washroom wall tile supplied by Stone-Tile

Resilient flooring:
Wood flooring supplied by Kourtis Flooring
Wood stair cladding supplied by Kourtis Flooring

Eureka Lighting, Artemide Ltd.

Sistemalux Inc.