Lorne Rose Architect successfully designed a contemporary translation of English Georgian architecture within a modern-day setting with this breathtaking mansion in Toronto's Bedford Park neighbourhood.
Located on an extremely private street that sits right on top of a ravine, this design considers all the restrictions placed by the ravine control conservation authority in order to produce a house of splendour and vision.
The exterior exhibits a uniform red brick surface that is complemented by a majestic central limestone entrance, scaling the entire height of the building, on the front facing side. The overall structure incorporates Georgian architecture principles, such as the defining use of symmetry, proportion and balance, while the facade also borrows characteristics based on the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. The statuesque limestone elevates the entrance and can be distinguished into two main parts; the upper level and the lower level. The lower level is seen to be protruding which provides space above for a balcony, while the upper level features a triangular pediment, above the upper window, hence extending the medial linearity of the house. A strong outline and sense of sharpness is created through a projecting cornice and engaged Doric columns.
This front facade can be compared to examples of typical houses from the Georgian era, such as the Chase Lloyd House pictured above, which share homogenous characteristics of rigid symmetry, timeless proportions and decorative elements. In terms of material, Georgian style can be seen to use classic brickwork, usually integrating a horizontal belt course between the first and second floors. Moreover, a hip roof typifies this style, essentially of a symmetrical nature in order to exaggerate the overall symmetricity of the building. The windows and entrance are employed as vehicles for decoration to include stylistic embellishments, especially with pediments and arched tops for the entryway. Lorne Rose Architect reinterprets these design concepts, shining a spotlight on the house with a large medial limestone piece.
This house is a perfect pastiche wherein the design marries a variety of different styles - in this case Georgian architecture as well as the classical order of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. It pays a homage to past forms while infusing the necessary modern features, like the garage.
The stately exterior is matched with an equally impressive interior that departs from the traditional facade with a more modern style that still pays homage to yesteryear.
The inside comprises bright open spaces with 10-foot high ceilings on the first-floor, with generous windows and skylights which flood the space with natural light. The neutral colour scheme is complemented with warm tones in the flooring, molding and custom cabinets, creating a balanced contrast. A floating staircase, supported by metal and glass railings, introduces a more classic contemporary style.
Lorne Rose Architect uses the exquisite textural effect of marble on the countertop and tilings in both the washrooms and kitchen. This pattern continues the dark/light contrast throughout the dwelling. The bathroom, creatively split into separate areas, features a large oval tub whose curving, flowing design is congruent with the surrounding marble tiling. Its strategic placement in front of a book-matched marble wall promotes the theme of symmetry in the space.
Similar to the washroom, the kitchen judiciously utilizes a sizable slab of stone to anchor the open space; the island calls attention to its functionality with stylishness. This luxe kitchen distinctly reflects the fashion of the day through its lines, space plan and layout. The cabinets incorporate hidden appliances to maintain a sleek nature.
I drool over this walk-in closet with abundant built-in cabinets. How dreamy!
Lorne Rose Architect harkens to a 1700's vibe while infusing modern day luxury in this Georgian style mansion. Their design brings an elegant flair for sophistication for Toronto's well-heeled residents.
To learn more about their designs, visit Lorne Rose Architect
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Researched and written by Tasneem Murtaza Shahpurwala, Undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies, University of Toronto.