Canvas House wrapped in a dynamic brick shell, turning it into a ‘canvas’

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Canvas House

Located in Toronto’s Forest Hill district, Canvas House revolutionizes the paradigm of residential housing by fusing it with contemporary art curation. Designed by Partisans, this 485-square-meter residence embodies the union between geniality and artistic finesse.

The first detail that captures one’s gaze is the external appearance of Canvas House. Compared to its neighboring Georgian residences, Canvas House presents a frontage like a sculptural canvas. The monochromatic undulating brick façade, sprawling across 485 square meters, goes boldly away from distinct symmetries. This divergence is not merely arbitrary; it is a meticulously crafted artistic manifestation inspired by the emerging works of Larry Poons.

Canvas House

Upon stepping into Canvas House, the interplay of light and shadow extends an invitation into a world where organic and order merge easily. The gentle curvature of walls seamlessly integrates with ceilings and architectural fixtures, engendering a serene and airy internal setting. What adds a layer of fascination is the incorporation of door handles and handrails, hewn directly from the walls, contributing to the overall three-dimensionality and enriching the contemplative ambiance within the residence.

Partisans’ perceptive design successfully transforms Canvas House into a literal canvas, a space for the owner’s extraordinary modern art collection. The dynamic exterior brick shell not only acts as a contextual thin layer, uplifts the neighborhood’s traditional brickwork, but also imparts a whimsical and sculptural character to the residential street.

The strategic deployment of illumination within Canvas House amplifies the sculpted interiors and spotlights specific areas. A grand skylight, positioned atop the stairwell, stands as the focal point of the collector’s primary workspace, underscoring the significance of light in the artistic encounter within Canvas House.

So, The house embodies a harmonious balance between homeliness and art curation. The residence’s distinctive internal and external design metamorphoses it into a work of art in its own right, distinguishing it as an extraordinary addition to Toronto’s Forest Hill neighborhood. Through its innovative treatment of masonry, manipulation of light, and seamless integration of artistic components, Canvas House proffers a serene and contemplative sanctuary for its proprietor’s extensive contemporary art collection.

Project Info

Architects: Partisans
Area: 5220 sqm
Year: 2022
Manufacturers: Bauhaus Doors, Cortizo, Thames Valley Brick and Tile
Mason: Finbarr Sheehan
Contractor: Duffy and Associates
Structural Engineer: Moses Structural Engineering
Interiors: Patti Rosati
Partner In Charge: Alex Josephson
Project Lead: Suzan Ibrahim
Senior Designer: Nathan Bishop
Program / Use / Building Function: Residential single-family house
City: Toronto
Country: Canada
Photographs: Younes Bounhar, Teddy Shropshire

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