If you can’t decide on just one kind of style for your house, you could follow the example of the contemporary and unusual Opposite House. Designed by architect Reza Aliabadi of Toronto-based architecture firm RZLBD, the Opposite House is a single-family lakeside home near Toronto made up of two very different halves that come together at a central corridor. The home was commissioned by a couple, but includes enough space and flexibility to accommodate a growing family.
Located on the Scarborough Bluffs, the Opposite House is split into two halves with different features. The northern street-facing half is clad in dark brick and houses the foyer, bathrooms, and an office space that can be converted into bedrooms. Few windows punctuate this side of the house in order to minimize heat loss in winter.
In contrast, the southern half that overlooks Lake Ontario is built with white stucco and opens up to the outdoors with a 10-foot-high curtain wall that runs the entire length of the home and brings natural light and views into the communal spaces. An east-west corridor that runs the home’s entire 146-foot-long length and is bookended by two outsized windows and bedrooms joins the two volumes.
“Both outside and in, the Opposite House is at once familiar yet different, spectacular yet comfortable, private as well as public – presenting a study in subtly rendered juxtapositions,” writes the architect. “Two concepts are at work here: Louis Kahn’s “servant and served” maxim, wherein private, back-of-the-house functions are placed on one side, balanced by public relaxation on the other; and the“phototropic” nature of plants, which remain rooted in the earth while their heads blossom towards the sun – interpreted here as a north side wrapped in dark-black, textured brick and a south side presented in bright glass and smooth white stucco.”
Images via RZLBD