Ancerl Studio: Situated on Toronto’s lush ravine system, the intention from within was to open up the interior to the vast landscape beyond. A solid front facade, with a tucked away entryway afforded the client the privacy they desired; while the rear, stepping down to boast 14 foot ceilings, opens up almost entirely with glazing, creating a spectacular forested backdrop.
The contemporary family home, which is approximately 70% glazed, called for warmth from within, achieved through the material palette and furnishings. White walls, ceilings and selected millwork paired with white ash engineered floors drives attention not only to the ravine but to selected features within. One such feature is the linear central unit which spans almost the entire length of the home's main floor, from entry to rear. We have playfully dubbed this unit ‘the swiss army knife’.
image © Brandon Barre
The swiss army knife, like its name suggests, holds a multitude of functions within its apparently solid and streamlined form. Waxwing was commissioned as a home for a family of seven, the objective being to create a clean, contemporary space while not compromising on the functionality. This central unit, which at first glance appears to be quite simplistic with its flat cut walnut face, offers an array of functions upon further exploration. The unit as a whole creates division between the main floor spaces, on one side the more open public living spaces of the kitchen and living room, while on the other, the more private program of the formal dining, lounge and office resides.
As you enter the home through the 7-foot wide pivot door, you are met with not only the vista of the ravine ahead, but introduced to the swiss army knife to your right. In the entry foyer, tucked away within this unit you find the stairs ascending to the second floor and opposite that are steps that descend into the private office. The walnut then extends alongside you as you descend the main foyer stairs into the living room. The next function you’re met with is the hidden floor to ceiling slab door which opens onto the staircase to the basement. This door, along with the door across from it, can fully fold in to create a clear passageway between the living and dining area on the other side. Within the living room, two bi-fold pocket doors open up and hide away, revealing the TV and open shelving.
image © Brandon Barre
The final feature at the end of the unit is a three sided open flame custom fireplace. This fire can be enjoyed from not only the living room and dining room, but also from the outdoors when the 40 foot hangar opens to extend the living space to the backyard. An additional set of bi-fold doors is accessed from the dining room, and opens to reveal a wet bar used for entertainment in both the dining room and lounge. Continuing along the unit, and entering the lounge, the walnut breaks away to showcase a pair of floor-to-ceiling, temperature controlled wine fridges. Through the lounge you enter into the office space which benefits from both open and closed storage.
The design premise of the swiss army knife is carried throughout the residence; on the second level in the primary suite, in the hidden laundry, and entries into each new space, giving us the ability to achieve our goal of creating a modern aesthetic while combining immense functionality for a family of seven.
About Ancerl Studio
Focused on creating profound spatial experiences, Ancerl Studio is a Toronto based multi-disciplinary atelier that combines architecture, landscaping, interior, and product design in a holistic cooperative statement.
Restorative or energizing, we dream and create environments that you will instantly connect with, want to explore, and enjoy together.
Driven by our passion for the human experience, we channel our learnings from decades of design-build developments and global exposure to consistently deliver connective design solutions. We tell stories expressed through emotive detailing, timeless materiality, and high-quality craftsmanship always purposeful and relevant to their historical, cultural, and geographical contexts.
Our dedication to the seamless execution of those unique design narratives enables our team to instil exceptional character to each project while delivering above-market returns for its investors.