The Toronto based practice Shim – Sutcliffe Architects realised this house for architecture, music and performance located at the edge of a Toronto ravine. With a discerning eye for the detail the duo created a premium venue which is characterised by serpentine walls made of vertical glass separated by projecting oak fins.
“The section of the house parallels the experience of descending the ravine slope as well as ascending above into the tree tops. The key moment in your journey through the project is a performance space for 150 people to gather located a full floor below your entry level and visually intertwined with the ravine landscape. Upper level dining and living areas double as balconies during a performance providing additional seating overlooking the performance space.
Each of the project’s five stories on the ravine side has a different and emphatic relationship to the ravine landscape. At the lower floors, the experience of the forest floor is primary. As one ascends through the house, both the palette and spatial experiences lightens until you are in the airy tree tops.”
“Sustainability is integrated into the project and not considered as features. Beneath the entry driveway, twenty-three geothermal pipes provide heating and cooling for the main performance space and rest of the residence. The demands of an assembly space for larger events and gatherings necessitated an approach that is simultaneously energy efficient and also extremely quiet both inside and outside given its prime location in the heart of a large urban metropolis and along a ravine edge. The project’s extensive green roof reduces the heat island as well as being a visual feature viewed from many parts of the project. The vertical wooden fins provide sun shading on the exterior as well as contributing to the acoustical performance of the performance space on the interior. Materials have been selected for their aesthetic contribution as well as their enduring qualities based on life cycle costing calculations.”