It’s never easy to blend new buildings into traditional neighborhoods, but Toronto-based Aleph-Bau, has skillfully managed to fit a wonderfully modern aluminum-clad home – called Twelve Tacoma – into a section of 19th century rowhouses in Toronto without encroaching on the historic neighborhood’s charming character.
From the outside, Twelve Tacoma’s sophisticated white paint and corrugated aluminum cladding certainly stands out from the colorful brick rowhouses, but its subtle design and neutral tones manage to quietly blend into it surroundings. Additionally, certain details such as the simple front railing and plexiglass door awning – although more contemporary – mimic its neighbors in a respectful nod to the area’s vernacular.
The upper floor of the home is the only section visible from the front of the rowhouses, but the home’s beautiful design is best seen from the back. To squeeze the contemporary addition into the established architecture, the architects used a steel structure to create the frame of the house in between the existing wooden parameters. The finished product is a series of stacked volumes that create a very modern and open home.
According to Delnaz Yekrangian, Aleph-Bau’s director, the home design relied on a number of elements to blend it into its natural and manmade surroundings, “Architectural elements disappear in favor of the atmosphere – one that is an amplified reflection of the outside; light, the sky, the clouds, the neighbors’ tree, the sound of rainfall and the shabby structures in the laneway are inside now.”
On the inside, the home is open and airy, with a minimalist interior design scheme. Modular sliding storage units are found throughout the home in order to avoid clutter. Numerous floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors on every level allow for optimal natural light, also adding a sense of transparency to the home. Further connecting the home to its surroundings is the large rooftop terrace, which, thanks to its many asymmetrical shapes, provides a fun and private space for the homeowners.
+ Aleph Bau
Photography by Tom Arban