This snug little urban infill lot in Toronto is only 20 ft wide, and planning codes require setbacks on either side - meaning the architect only had 16 feet of room to work with. Sure it's tight, but atelier rzbld made the most of it with a compact house set in this traditional neighborhood. The clients, who had goals of affordability and sustainability, chose a smaller lot in order to bring down costs. The resulting Shaft House was built with careful planning and a smart design that maximizes space and daylighting while using simple and affordable materials to create a standout home.
The Shaft House is so named because of a large void running up through the center of the home. Natural light travels deep into the house via the shaft and no air conditioning is needed as all the hot air ventilates up and out through the upper windows and deck. Stairs and the home’s rooms spiral up and around from a partially submerged room and covered parking up to a rooftop deck. The void provides views across into neighboring rooms and enlarges the feel of the home. Set back from the street more than the rest of the homes, the front facade is like a protective shield blocking out noise from the busy street. The backside is more open with larger windows, a garden deck and a rooftop deck.
To keep costs down, the owners chose to buy a small 20 x 100 ft lot so as not to build more than they needed. The 2.5 floor house makes the most of its space with smart and efficient design, clean lines and simple materials and only cost 220,000 CAD$ to build. Materials were chosen in terms of sustainability and cost efficiency. Aluminum siding, which is lightweight and fully recyclable, costs far less than brick or stone. The front of the home is covered in untreated wood and rusted steel panels, which give it an organic look that will naturally age over time. Seeming much larger than its 1,400 sq ft, the Shaft House blows away perceptions of such a narrow home and confirms that sustainable urban infill can indeed be achieved.
Images ©borXu Design courtesy of atelier rzlbd