Stone Residence

Location Toronto, Ontario
Status Completed 2014
Partner Siamak Hariri

Relating directly to its site in a historical, verdant neighbourhood, the Stone Residence is designed to seem as if it was carved from a single piece of stone rising out of the landscape. Nestled among the property’s original trees, its scale and massing presents a private face to the street-front before opening up to create a large courtyard garden with views to the heritage properties beyond.

The two-storey home is organized and conceptualized as two intersecting L-shaped volumes, creating an entry forecourt and a larger rear court. This approach maximizes light and enables a continuous connection between interior and exterior spaces as you move through the house. Though it is a large home—built to the edges of the lot lines— the open space created by the front courtyard pushes the façade back, thereby diminishing its visual presence on the street. Vertical fins of Algonquin crust-faced limestone ground the heavy massing of the second floor, thus emphasizing the intrinsic quality of the stone and reinforcing the raw, sculptural quality of the front façade. Conversely, the back façade of the house is defined by large expanses of glass, expressing the rear courtyard and gardens as an extension of the home. This space-within-a-space is defined by horizontal brass beams and fitted with lights. Each court includes a reflecting pond to further define and soften the stone and metal elements.

Internally, a feature stair of honed Beauval limestone, together with a grand living room area that opens directly to the rear courtyard, is the active, public centre of the house. The extremities of the L-shaped configuration become the private realm for the occupants: the front of the house contains the owner’s office on the ground floor and guest bedrooms above; while the back of the house contains a private master suite.

The interior is a continuation of the exterior language of the home. Beauval limestone, complimenting the honed limestone façade, is used on the floors, along with smoked and brushed European oak. Calacatta marble throughout the master suite bathroom adds to the sculpted look of the residence, while ebony and bronze accents add to its earthiness. Features such as horizontal reveals along the length of the walls extend the line of sight; vertical lines flow to horizontal lines from floor, to stairs, to wall. The solid stone-sculpted handrail of the feature stair and the full-height, smoked oak doors are created to have a seamless appearance within the interior that wraps and extents to the façade.

Sustainability strategies are integral to the design and longevity of the home. Orientation, massing, and glazing are carefully considered to maximize direct and indirect daylight. High-performance glass throughout allows the large open spaces of the home to be comfortable year-round. Underground, 21 geothermal pipes provide ground-source heating and cooling for the home.

The craftsmanship of the Stone Residence achieves the client’s desire to create a home of enduring beauty; its carved expression evokes a sense of permanence, elegance, and quiet excellence.

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