In Toronto, Atelier RZLBD replaces a nondescript home on an infill lot with a breezy, adaptable dwelling.
After long admiring Toronto–based Atelier RZLBD’s contemporary infill projects from afar, Sage Shujan, owner of the construction firm Sage Building Ideas, finally saw an opportunity to collaborate. In 2016, he approached architect and Atelier RZLBD founder Reza Aliabadi with an idea to transform a nondescript, two-story building in Toronto’s Scarborough Junction into a creative and contemporary home that can adapt to different lifestyles over time.
The soft costs, which included design and consultant fees, city permits, and utilities, totaled $108,500 CAD (or about $80,720 USD), while construction costs amounted to $599,999.42 CAD (about $446,378 USD).
Demolition & Excavation
Toilet & Fence Rental
Footing Foundation & Forming
Fence & Deck
Spray Foam Insulation
Drywall, Taping & Finishing
Interior Trim Works & Doors
Entry Front Door
Washer & Dryer
|Grand Total: $599,999.42 CAD|
The design brief also called for an airy and light-filled environment, an atmosphere that at first seemed at odds with the narrow and relatively shallow 25-foot lot. The site was further constrained by an east-west orientation that only allowed for limited sunlight to filter through the front and rear, as well as local by-laws that forbid windows from being installed on the side elevations.
To maximize access to natural light, Aliabadi turned the house into “an apparatus to harness light.” The home is centered on a central staircase that funnels light into the house from a large skylight above, while two large windows on the front take in morning light. Resembling two eyes, the windows give the dwelling its name, Gazing House.
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