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Russell Hill Road Residence by Taylor Smyth Architects

Russell Hill Road Residence by Taylor Smyth Architects

Team: Taylor Smyth Architects in collaboration with Cecconi Simone

Size: 5,700 sq. ft.

Contractor: WPML Project Management

Press distribution: v2com

About Taylor Smyth Architects

Taylor Smyth Architects is a full-service Canadian practice dedicated to the creation of enduring buildings of exceptional quality.

Since its inception in 2000, Taylor Smyth Architects has developed an international reputation for creating elegant architecture and interiors within Canada and abroad. Each project is cultivated from the spirit of its location, the unique tastes and aspirations of our clients, and a focus on authentic material expression.

They develop trusting, long-term relationships with clients, suppliers, contractors, and colleagues by listening carefully, providing unparalleled service, and through their exceptional attention to detail. They combine their project experience and technical rigor with a profound interest in the way people live, work, and play, to create innovative buildings that both nurture and delight.

They are inspired by fundamental criteria to which they believe all people respond: light, texture and color, natural materials and proportions, a sense of openness and of the sheltered enclosure, access to views, and a connection to the outdoors. Combining these sensitivities with quality materials and fine craftsmanship, they aspire to create refined private residences, high-quality public buildings, and exceptional redevelopment projects.

Their award-winning firm has expertise in a broad range of project types including residential and interior design, educational, recreational, and workplace facilities, retail environments, and master planning. Their work has received wide recognition through numerous local, national, and international publications and awards.

This new contemporary residence in the traditional Toronto neighborhood of Forest Hill is an excellent example of how modern design can both fit in yet also stand out. Large slabs of Indiana Limestone and locally sourced Algonquin rubble stone, both prevalent throughout the neighborhood, clad the exterior walls and base of the house, tying it into the local vernacular.

Careful detailing of limestone projections around windows and copings creates subtle relief, producing shades and shadows that break-up the flatness of the walls, a lesson interpreted in a contemporary way from the older surrounding houses.

The house nestles into the landscape – its Algonquin rubble stone base reappears on the landscape garden walls, and sandblasted Algonquin is used for paving and the broad steps leading to the front entrance. At the rear, the same Algonquin clads the back wall of the swimming pool to create a unified composition.

Natural light floods the interior: the dining room is illuminated by a linear skylight along its length and can be opened into the kitchen by a series of pivoting doors to allow it to seat up to 30 people. A 16-foot-high living room with clerestory windows on three sides occupies the back of the house, featuring a continuous wall of glass that looks out onto a covered patio with a deep overhang to provide shading.

Taylor Smyth Architects and Cecconi Simone collaborated on the design of the house, with the sophisticated interiors custom designed by Cecconi Simone to incorporate bronze privacy screens, stone, wood paneling, and built-in millwork.