Organization and order are crucial elements to achieving success in many different situations. And at the core of organization is compartmentalization, which plays an important role in our everyday lives. Much like our minds which can be divided into many different states and play a variety of characters, the person you embody in intimate situations can dramatically differ from the one you embody in public. Conversely, an intelligently designed home in many ways becomes our third skin as an extension of this idea, conforming to these needs while providing spaces to best accentuate the unique characteristic of each role.
Such is the case with this live/work building located on Dundas St. West, Toronto designed by Kohn Shnier Architectures Ltd. Fronting a major commercial street, this three story building features a green roof, an art studio and residence on the top two floors, a store front on the ground floor and a clothing design studio in the basement. Each major division of space respectively supports the unique role that the inhabitants play.
The dark charcoal grey exterior of the building contrasts the sleek white finishes that envelop the internal structures. The home is like a delectable stack of simplicity laced with texture and richness in between.
The roof marries vista with a sharp hit of texture. Fluffy green foliage framed by the city skyline creates a relaxing and equally invigorating visual experience.
The top floors are swaddled by an envelope of calming whites, speckled with simple pieces of muted furniture, resulting in a visual experience one might compare to a warm cream of mushroom soup. As viewers pass through the series of articulated spaces, the artist studio unfolds like a tunnel of ideas where memories and moments are captured in paint. The studio is like peaking into the mind of the artist.
The store front is the public facade of the building. Finished in white, its products and decoration are like the makeup of an actor with an ever changing mask. The clothing design studio in the basement facilitates these evolving changes. Fitted with equipment, metal racks and Judy mannequins line the walls while industrial sewing machines flank the right. All of these tools are anchored by a large cutting table, sitting with authority in the center.
Your space, like you, plays many different roles and takes on many different identities. How amazing to see one which presents so many layers into the psyche of its occupants.
Want to see more of the work of this crisp contemporary architectural firm? Click on Kohn Shnier Architecture Ltd.
Researched and Written by Lydia Chan, Bachelor of Interior Design at Ryerson University