This renovated Victorian house in Toronto is a modern family home that marries the idea of rural living with modern architecture. Multidisciplinary design studio +tongtong used natural materials combined with grey and clack zinc to get a more contemporary orthogonal aesthetic, while making sure that the building, named Zn House, remains true to the vernacular of the neighborhood.
The renovation and addition to the old Victorian house created a bright, modern space inspired by rural living. Industrial materials give the structure a more contemporary feel, but applied in a way that doesn’t compete with the predominant architecture of the neighborhood. Large skylights run through three floors and bring natural light into the main living area located on the ground floor.
“I really embrace the slot between the two floors. It turns the 2nd floor hallway into a bridge that connects all of the floors. This is key to bringing light down to the first floor,” said John Tong, principal of +tongtong.
The existing window at the side of the house was widened to create a horizontal opening that connects the kitchen and the dining room, the latter of which features a countertop vent-free ethanol fireplace. Additional privacy was achieved by incorporating a landscaped berm and retaining wall into the design of the house, creating a small oasis in front where kids can play.
Photos by Lisa Petrole