Toronto Residence by Drew Mandel Architects: 2020 Best of Year Winner for Residential Transformation
The Georgian Revival house in the Bracondale Hill neighborhood is listed on a city historic register, so its street-facing exterior had to be preserved. But the owners sought more space, more light, and a more contemporary way of living. Drew Mandel and team managed to both respect the landmark and reinvent it.
At the rear of the house, the firm replaced a solid wall with a glass-box extension, opening up the formerly dark, rabbit-warren interior to the yard. To the side, the form of a brick-shingle addition echoes that of the original house. A glass connector marks the gap between old and new—and prompted a nickname for the now 5,215-square-foot residence: Toblerone house.
The interior is awash in white oak and choice materials like the pinkish Monaco Brown marble used for a powder room basin. The four-story staircase was made of pieces of the bendable plywood known as wiggle board that were sandwiched together, plastered, and painted. It’s a freestanding functional sculpture.
Project Team: Drew Mandel; Jowenne Poon; Aleksandra Popovska.
> See the full list of winners and honorees from Best of Year 2020