Lady Peel House by Atelier Reza Aliabadi


Reza Aliabadi designed a contemporary renovation for a house in Toronto, Canada.

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Project description

The Birthplace of Beatrice Lillie known as Lady Peel, over a century old, is now rejuvenated and playing a new role. With respect for the actress who once lived there, the house inherits a talent: playing a new role while living in the same skin.

The reformation of the house takes a responsible approach towards the neighborhood and the adjacent buildings by focusing the transformation on the interior spaces and minimizing it on the exterior façade. The exterior alterations are limited to the careful enlargement of the windows and the exposure of the brick structure underneath the previous cladding.

The 60’ x 15’ house gives the architect an opportunity to emphasize on linearity of spaces. By eliminating the unnecessary elements in the floor plans, the house is transformed into continuous open-concept spaces in which natural light makes a soft voyage and exaggerates the length of the rooms.

The long, broken, and dark Victorian interior spaces on the ground level are now contemporary white and airy continuous spaces with just enough exposed brick wall in the kitchen and dining room to remind us of the origins of the house. The enclosed long and linear staircase used to be both a physical and a visual barrier between the interior rooms on the ground level. Now it is transformed into a light, and open structure circulating around voids and creating a dynamic connection between not just the ground floor spaces, but also all the levels. On the second floor the bedrooms and the home office are connected with a bridge overlooking the stairs and the dining room. A unique modern master bedroom with a freestanding tub and a direct access to a private deck is on the third floor, the attic, where the roof structure is exposed once again as a reminder of its past.

Design: Atelier Reza Aliabadi
Photography: borXu Design


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