Reigo & Bauer modernise a Toronto townhouse
The complete transformation of an existing townhouse in Toronto’s Forest Hill neighbourhood by architecture studio Reigo & Bauer draws on a vision for a modern, dynamic and very liveable new interior
Reigo & Bauer have completely transformed an old townhouse in the Toronto neighbourhood of Forest Hill. The existing house, a Victorian structure, was in need of a refresh in order to better fit the needs of its residents, who enlisted the architecture studio headed by Merike and Stephen Bauer for the project.
First order of business for the architects was to open up the interior in order to improve the internal flow and the atmosphere as well as functionality of the various rooms. So, an open plan living, kitchen and dinning space was created on the ground level, while a double garage replaced the old formal dinning room; and the removal of smaller rooms towards the garden means that now the living spaces can enjoy wide views out towards the redesigned garden (with a landscape design and a new pool pavilion by Amantea Architects).
‘The move also broadens views from the sunken family room to the breakfast area, vastly improving the overall sense of openness and connection while a new wet bar, backed by a low bench, adds a visual barrier between the family room and kitchen,’ say the architects, who collaborated with local firm Amantea to design of all the custom millwork.
A striking, sculptural staircase replaced an older, closed, rectangular stair and becomes a centerpiece in the renovated interior. Not only is the new circulation hub a visual focus for the space, but also it helps light travel across levels and strategically knits together the rooms of all three levels of the home around a single architectural gesture.
The architects aimed to create a space that feels contemporary and sophisticated, but also thoroughly comfortable and, ultimately, very liveable. A limited colour palette of white, charcoal grey and black ensure a blank canvas for the owner’s life to unfold; while traditional elements were subtly reintroduced in places, to create harmony between old and new and delicately bring the townhouse to the 21st century. §