Urban dream: nature and concrete meet in this Canadian home
Don’t let the verdant surroundings of Angela Tsementzis’ Concrete House fool you; this home, perched on a slope within the quiet and leafy location of Toronto’s Moore Park Ravine, is conveniently located only a 15 minute drive away from the city’s downtown center district. This urban oasis was built for husband and wife John Pylypczak and Diti Katona and their two children. The couple, who run a branding studio, wished for the design of the 380 sq m home to be centred around their passion for nature, and ‘pure, honest and refined aesthetics.’
Tsementzis envisioned a structure, which would keep the surrounding nature in full focus, designing out any decorative elements that would pull attention away from the building’s natural context. The result was a series of minimal, streamlined stacked volumes, featuring large amounts of glazing, added to bring the surrounding nature within the walls of the home – the architect’s first standalone build.
Responding to the natural scenery, the architect used a fairly restricted material palette, inspired by the earth. The use of poured-in-situ concrete conveniently provides structure, sophisticated finish and insulation and is accompanied by oak millwork, a travertine fireplace and a soft white plaster exterior.
The lowest of the three volumes lies semi-submerged into the sloping ravine and contains the property’s family room. Situated directly above, housed within a slightly larger volume, is the living, dining and kitchen areas. As the owners love to entertain and cook, they requested an open plan and spacious kitchen, which now features a unit designed by Bulthaup. This space cantilevers 15 foot forward, directly into a cluster of neighbouring trees, providing the home with a sheltered outdoor environment and creating a feeling of living in the wilderness.