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Waxwing Residence in Toronto, Canada by Ancerl Studio

Project name:
Waxwing Residence
Architecture firm:
Ancerl Studio
Toronto, Canada
Brandon Barre
Principal architect:
Architect of record. Daniel Karpinski
Design team:
Nicholas Ancerl, Tara Finlay. Ashley Robertson, Robert Miguel, Daniel Karpinski
Interior design:
Ancerl Studio
Built area:
4200 ft²
Site area:
9800 ft²
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
RPS Engineering Inc
Environmental & MEP:
Ofsign - Ancerl Studio
Ancerl Studio
Tools used:
AutoCAD, SketchUp, Adobe Photoshop
MAIA Legacy Builders
Titanium, Fortina, Corten, Walnut
Residential › House

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’.

outdoor furniture at terrace 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.

floor plans

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.

fire pit at backyard garden 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.

modern house with glazed wall

Waxwing Residence in Toronto, Canada by Ancerl Studio

cozy living room with fireplace

living room interior with custom fireplace

comfortable living room furniture

pendant metal lamps

modern kitchen interior

round coffee table

home office desk and chairs

wooden bookshelf

girl opening pivot door

staircase with wooden steps

corridor with wooden skylight

bedroom with garden view

master bedroom design

bedroom with big windows

luxury bathroom tub

bathroom washing basin

bathroom vanity design

kitchen marble island and chairs

outdoor furniture at garden

contemporary home with pool

contemporary family home with swimming pool

modern house with illumination at night

architecture fire place details

architecture details


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.

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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John Skyline -
If you been to the neighbourhood this house is a total eyesore. It might look nice from the inside and this only proof how selfish and inconsiderate the owner and designer are. If the home value is not doing well in this hot real estate market and this house is the one to blame.

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