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

White hallway with black curved staircase
A sculptural, curving staircase is central to the new interior design. Photography: Doublespace
(Image credit: Doublespace)

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). 

Second floor hallway with white walls and black glass window


(Image credit: TBC)

‘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.

White and grey living room with beige sofas and blue circle rug


(Image credit: TBC)

Open plan living room with white walls and beige sofas


(Image credit: TBC)

Hallway with white curved staircase and entrance to room with black piano in


(Image credit: TBC)

Sitting area with grey walls and blue sofa


(Image credit: TBC)

Dining room with long table and chairs and gold hanging light


(Image credit: TBC)

White room with blue suede chair and pictures on the wall


(Image credit: TBC)

White curved staircase with black steps


(Image credit: TBC)

Large white kitchen with grey round table and pink chairs


(Image credit: TBC)

Garden with swimming pool and grass surrounded by trees


(Image credit: TBC)

INFORMATION

reigoandbauer.com (opens in new tab)amarchitects.ca (opens in new tab)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).