relmar house 2
Just to the east of the Cedarvale Ravine, behind the bustling Forest Hill Village on Spadina Road in Toronto, are the Relmar Houses; two slim semi-detached dwellings squeezed into a narrow lot originally occupied by a single family home.
This project is a complex organism, responding to two different sets of priorities. One half is a space articulated and responsive to the specific nuances of a couple seeking their dream retirement home, while the other half is broader and more strategic in its intent: a development intended for sale upon completion of construction. It is a fine balance of space and economy. Responding to the constraints of the immediate context (access to daylight is limited by a large multi-unit residential building to the immediate south and a bustling commercial strip to the west and fenestration in general is limited by the density of the development and adjacency to site boundaries) the project is inextricably introverted, but productively so.
The most significant innovation of the project is the atrium space within each side of the complex. It underscores the primary request for the maximization of natural light, while simultaneously instigating and augmenting natural ventilation. Capped at the top by a large bank of operable skylights and a private third floor courtyard garden, it becomes the central armature around which activities of varying intimacy are actuated.