GARDEN CIRCLE HOUSE | Dubbeldam Architecture + Design

Canada

garden-circle-house-dubbeldam-architecture-design

PROJECT DETAILS:

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Size: 3,200 sq.ft. / 300 s.m.

Architecture/Interior Design: Dubbeldam Architecture + Design

Landscape Design: Dubbeldam Architecture + Design

Project Team: Heather Dubbeldam, Rachel Tameirao, Suzanna MacDonald, Joseph Villahermosa, Scott Sampson, Marisa Maggs

Photography: Scott Norsworthy

Contractor: Mazenga Building Group

To know more about the Architects 

Merging sustainability with biophilic design principles, a new home in midtown Toronto is inspired by nature, connected to the outdoors and awash in daylight.


A four-bedroom home in midtown Toronto designed by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design, Garden Circle House is a response to the client’s desire for a sustainable home inspired by nature, connected to the outdoors and awash in daylight.


The Dubbeldam team drew upon biophilic design strategies incorporating many key principles for building visual and non-visual connections with the outdoors. Biophilic design dates back to the mid-1980s, but in recent years it has become a larger part of sustainable practices due to the growing wellness movement and a greater desire to live and work in healthier interiors. The term describes a conscious effort to link the built environment to the natural world, through various sensory experiences including sight, sound, touch, and smell.

The dining room window looks out onto a mature pear tree, its foliage casting animated plays of shadow and light while the heady scent of pear blossoms in spring and ripe fruit in autumn filter through the window when opened. Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy

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Partial walls and millwork on the ground floor provide spatial definition in an open plan, while still allowing connectivity between spaces and views throughout. A raised breakfast bar connected to the kitchen conceals potentially untidy cooking functions from view. Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy

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The central staircase is crafted of solid mahogany and features open risers and a curved balustrade that emulates natural organic forms, inviting the hand to run along its sculptural contours. Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy

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The dining room window looks out onto a mature pear tree, its foliage casting animated plays of shadow and light while the heady scent of pear blossoms in spring and ripe fruit in autumn filter through the window when opened. Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy

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The house is imbued with wellness features, including a palette of natural materials, lush landscaping, and water features that offer both visual and auditory effects to enhance a sense of calmness. It also uses spatial strategies to maximize natural light and to visually connect to the outdoors through ample fenestration and elevated vantage points. Upon entry into the house, a direct view to the backyard lap pool and landscaping is visible through a tall, narrow window on-axis. Looking back toward the front entry, a double-height space dramatically showcases the home’s dynamic spatial qualities, enhanced by the light that pours in from the tall windows and the abstracted shadows cast by the triangular light fixtures overhead. Views are primarily oriented to the rear yard, with access through wall-to-wall sliding doors in the kitchen. A hot tub built into the hard-wearing Cumaru outdoor decking and firepit on the small patio transforms the backyard into a relaxing oasis for three out of four seasons.


A focal point of the interior is the central staircase crafted of solid mahogany and featuring open risers and a curved balustrade that emulates natural organic forms, inviting the hand to run along its sculptural contours. Light filters through an operable skylight, providing natural illumination and ventilation in the center of the home, while simultaneously offering a view of the sky.

As an acknowledgement of the clients’ desire for mid-century Prairie Style architecture, the design incorporates a language of low-slung, horizontal planes and deep overhangs. The planting scheme for both front and back of house integrates native plant species, selected for both summer and winter character, and in the front yard, great care was taken in protecting the existing pear tree. Green roofs front and back are visible from all bedrooms, offering multi-sensorial enjoyment to the home’s residents; the lush greenery that thrives, combined with the sweet smell of grass and other plantings, accompany the familiar sounds of buzzing bees. Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy

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A double-height space in the entry foyer showcases the home’s spatial qualities, enhanced by the generous daylight that pours in from the tall window and the abstracted shadows cast by the triangular light fixtures overhead. Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy

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Visual connectivity to the outdoors is incorporated in every part of the house. From the entry, a direct view to the backyard is visible through a tall, narrow window on axis. Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy

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As an acknowledgement of the clients’ desire for mid-century Prairie Style architecture, the design incorporates a language of low-slung, horizontal planes and deep overhangs. The planting scheme for both front and back of house integrates native plant species, selected for both summer and winter character, and in the front yard, great care was taken in protecting the existing pear tree. Green roofs front and back are visible from all bedrooms, offering multi-sensorial enjoyment to the home’s residents; the lush greenery that thrives, combined with the sweet smell of grass and other plantings, accompany the familiar sounds of buzzing bees. Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy

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Inspired by the client’s love for Prairie Style architecture, the exterior of the house incorporates horizontal planes and overhangs, and an earthy, natural material palette of brick, wood, and stone. Buff and grey-toned brick convey a sense of solidity while Western red cedar boards and mahogany-framed windows complement the warmth of wood. Green roofs are integrated into each of the overlapping roof planes on the front and back of the house, while their soffits are detailed with Brazilian massaranduba. Integral to the front of the house is the pear tree that was retained on-site; located in front of the large dining-room window, its foliage casts an animated play of shadow and light year-round, while the scent of blossoms in spring and ripe fruit in autumn wafts through the open window.


Complementing the home’s biophilic design strategy is the prioritization of sustainability approaches and systems such as radiant in-floor heating, efficient high-velocity cooling, thermally superior wall assemblies, operable windows and skylights for natural ventilation and daylighting, LED light fixtures, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and durable, hard-wearing and low-VOC materials.

A curved central staircase connects all three levels of the home, while its switchback configuration creates an opportunity for pause on the landing where a horizontal window offers glimpses into the hidden ground-floor study and pantry. Light filters through the operable skylight, providing natural illumination and ventilation in the centre of the home, while simultaneously offering a view of the sky. Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy

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Green space is maximized through the installation of multiple green roofs on the second storey overhangs and the cabana roof. A hot tub built into the hard-wearing Cumaru outdoor deck and a firepit on the small patio beyond, transforms the backyard into a relaxing oasis for three out of four seasons. Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy

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The entry and soffits are detailed with Brazilian massaranduba boards, complementing the mahogany windows and front door. Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy

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A curved central staircase connects all three levels of the home, while its switchback configuration creates an opportunity for pause on the landing where a horizontal window offers glimpses into the hidden ground-floor study and pantry. Light filters through the operable skylight, providing natural illumination and ventilation in the centre of the home, while simultaneously offering a view of the sky. Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy

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