Batay-Csorba Architects believe In the chaos of life today, a home needs to be a place of refuge, a solitude for the homeowners to retreat to. High Park Residence was created for an Italian couple, the design pays homage both to the clients’ Italian heritage and that of the Toronto residential building fabric, while ensuring a sensitivity towards wellbeing, mobility, and convenience. The design of the project is born from the homeowners’ values and traditions where the comforts of their past are now viscerally felt within their present-day lives. The vault, in its many permutations, is one of the most common archetypes of ancient Roman architecture, characterised by its powerful modulation of light and its sense of lightness.
In adopting this typology into a domestic space, the architects evolved the vault from its primary form, puncturing, cutting, and peeling it into new geometries that help to distribute light and air into key locations, each with a different atmosphere.
The monolithic façade is created through a focus on the rich materiality of the brick coursing, and the isolated dormer which mirrors the proportions of the neighbouring house. The brickwork that covers the façade and wraps the ceiling and walls of the carport plays into Toronto’s history of masonry detailing.
Vaulted porches are also a prevalent form in Toronto’s Victorian housing stock. Toronto’s residential streets are often punctuated by front porches rather than garages to create a transitional space between the street and the home. In the case of High Park residence, the carved carport creates an inverted porch, which creates an introverted presence on the street.
A light-well that cuts through the height of the building is placed at the depth of the carport, washing the deep space with light, pulling visitors towards the entry. This armoured space is turned inward and perceived as private, creating an intimate entry.
The project’s geometric simplicity, the barrel vault’s persistent geometry connects the living spaces, accentuating the client’s desire for connectivity in food preparation, eating, and socialising.
Photos – Double space photography