Atelier rzlbd recently completed the Totem House in a traditional neighborhood lot in Toronto. Designed for a couple who loves to travel, collect art and cook, the sculptural home enhances those activities and provides an outlet to enjoy them. The three story home is filled with natural light, designed for efficiency and organized around a central staircase that also serves as a vertical gallery or the 'totem'.
Totem House is a modern, three bedroom home built for a couple who collects sculptures and has a keen appreciation for minimalism. The home features bright white finishes inside with simple geometric interior layout and design. Atelier rzlbd worked to incorporate all of the couple’s artwork into a cohesive display in the staircase. Conceived as a ‘totem’ or a sculpture within a sculpture, the staircase features carefully built niches in which to hold the artwork. A skylight at the roof illuminates the staircase and pulls daylight into all levels of the home.
The exterior is clad in charcoal brick with a wooden block on both the north and the south side, which help the home fit in with the surrounding neighborhood. Solar passive design helps sunlight enter during winter and shade it throughout summer. The north elevation is more closed to limit energy loss, while the south is more open. Besides pulling in natural light, the central staircase also works as a chimney to help vent warm air through the stack effect. Local materials were chosen exclusively and the front lawn and driveway encourage storm water infiltration with permeable pavers and grass.
Images ©borXu Design