Project: Mid-Town Triplex
Architects: Studio JCI
Location: Toronto, Canada
Area: 4,908 sf
Photographs by: Scott Norsworthy
Mid-Town Triplex by Studio JCI
Studio JCI has remodeled a Mid-Town Triplex in Toronto, Canada. The project’s main focus was adding a third story to the existing structure which boosted the interior areas to 4,908 square feet. Since the lower part of the home is being rented out, the addition of a third story greatly increased the amount of living space the owners have for themselves.
This project is an example of urban intensification in an established Midtown Toronto neighbourhood, providing the Clients with both a principle residence and high value income suites that add to the quality and variety of rental suites in the city.
By adding a third storey to the existing structure, the owners’ unit becomes a two-storey, 2300sf home – a size comparable to that of many single family dwellings.
The existing two-storey, brick structure is one of many similar houses in the neighbourhood, with a pitched roof and raised front porch with steps. Sensitivity to surrounding context is a key consideration in the design – since the Client desired high ceilings on the third floor, part of the volume is setback from the front to reduce its visual impact. Existing brick is reused and restored while articulating the additions and incisions in the façade with clean, rectangular volumes. This juxtaposition clearly highlights new from old while maintaining the cadence of the streetscape.
The Clients believe that the good design and quality finishings specified by the architect resulted in higher value – confirmed upon the quick rental of the rental suites above market appraisal.
This project is the first of its kind on this street – the incorporation of a well-sized principle unit with two additional rental units. The triplex comprises a basement 1-bedroom unit, a ground floor two-bedroom unit, and a two storey 3-bedroom unit for the homeowners. Tenant spaces were not to be compromised for the Clients personal benefit.
The challenge for this infill triplex is to provide sufficient outdoor space and to maximize natural light. These elements were successfully integrated into all three units, adding tremendously to the comfort of all the tenants. Programmatically, the bedrooms and public spaces of the owners’ unit are interspersed between both levels, providing maximum exposure to daylight for the primary public spaces.
Large sliding glass doors encourage natural ventilation and visually extend a cantilevered exterior terrace into the third floor studio/living room, creating one large, fluid space. Clerestory windows are located at the mid-section of the floor plan, washing the feature walls of the Master Ensuite and Powder Room with natural light.
On the second floor, a large bay window at the front maximizes both light and view into the open kitchen/living/ dining space beyond. At the ground level, an elegant canopy projection shelters a series of cedar and glass panels that integrate the separate entries to each unit. The canopy and material choices formally tie in the crisp rectangular volumes above, creating a singular address for the house, while respecting the rhythm created by the neighbouring houses along the street.