Canvas House is a combination of a home and a private art gallery designed by architecture studio Partisans in Toronto, Canada. This 485 square meter project strikes a balance between domesticity and art curation, where the comfort of a home meets the light, contemplative quality of a gallery.

This refined combination is evident in the dynamic use of brick on the exterior, turning the residence into a true canvas, a vessel for the client’s impressive collection of modern art while acting as a contextual foil to enliven and react to the sober and formal brickwork of the period home Georgia in the region.


The façade is formed from a custom square bond pattern inspired by Larry Poon’s dot paintings. Applying two different types of brick in repeating modules of five bricks, the ties appear square in elevation but the significant variation of the corbels of each brick within the module allows for dramatic undulations in the sculptural facade.

At first glance, the facade appears to swell and contract in response to the functional requirements of the opening. It swells to provide an overhang above the front door, and shrinks to a second-floor window that doubles as a skylight. These openings are lined with custom-made wooden features, expanding the facade’s imagination and creating a dramatic entrance.


The interior, although materially muted to highlight the client’s contemporary art collection, continues with an undulating softness throughout. Walls and ceilings feature smooth transitions and changes of direction, and functional elements, including baseboards, door handles to lamps and handrails, are carved into the walls to create an enveloping, sculptural effect.

To highlight and protect the artwork, lighting is used carefully throughout, creating play with the interior of the sculpture as well as being used to highlight certain areas of the home such as the large skylight at the top of the stairs that culminates in the collector’s masterpiece. Enjoy!




architect: Partisans

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