Stack House Toronto, Ontario Building Interior, Modern Canadian Home, Architecture News

Stack House in Forest Hill

14 July 2022

Design: Atelier RZLBD

Location: Hill Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Stack House Forest Hill Toronto

Photos by Borzu Talaie

Stack House, Canada

A building is like a pile of books, which, being scaled and sized to our human body, is composed of horizontal platforms with consistent ceiling heights. A tall structure of three stories plus basement, Stack House is a playful expression of horizontal volumes, which are stacked on top of and cantilevered from each other.

Stack House Forest Hill Toronto Canada

The stack is composed of three “blocks”. The lower block, containing the public programs, is finished in stucco. The middle block, containing the transitional programs, such as the multi-purpose room on the mezzanine level, is finished in charred wood. The upper block, containing the most private programs, such as the master bedroom and ensuite, is finished in metal paneling.

Stack House Forest Hill Toronto

While using stucco, wood, and metal to symbolize the three blocks, the overall dark gray color achieves subtlety in their differentiation, creating a contradictory image of monumentality and intimacy.

Stack House Forest Hill Toronto

Penetrating all these blocks is the quadruple-height staircase with diverse light shafts around it, travelling from the skylights all the way down to the basement. Rooms on different level abut this extreme vertical void at the center, either closed to be separated or opened to be combined. Located between the ground floor and the second floor, the multi-purpose room is a diagonal extension of the living room below and across as well as a distinct gathering space shared by the three bedrooms on the second floor.

Stack House Forest Hill Toronto Canada

From the living room, this diagonal sightline continues to the transparent wine cellar and the feature garden in the basement. Unlike the clear delineation of the blocks on the exterior, the interior is a vertical labyrinth around the staircase, generating a constant motion either in body, eye, or mind, throughout the entire stack of the house.

Stack House Forest Hill Toronto Canada

Located in Forest Hill neighborhood in Toronto, the stacked profile of the house is well scaled to the surrounding, its face with a pitched roof blending and provoking at the same time. Simultaneously, the monotonous, dark presence evokes a sense of monumentality, hinting at more fluid and undefined spatial boundaries inside. While complying with all the regulations, the house rejects the homogenous conception of the majority of (residential) architecture in the city, suggesting an alternative typology; it creates an unorthodox form that reclaims the free nature of an architectural space, while maintaining and dramatizing the spatial order that unifies the interior and exterior complexity.

Stack House Forest Hill Toronto Canada

Stack House Forest Hill Toronto

Stack House in Toronto, Ontario – Building Information

Architect: Atelier RZLBD –

Project Lead: RZLBD (Reza Aliabadi)
Project team: James Chungwon Park, Raisa Nekhaeva
Structure: Recon Consulting
Mechanical: McCallum HVAC Design Inc.

Location: Ontario, Toronto, Forest Hill
Basics: Three-storey wood & steel structure
Lot: 5490 sqft / 510 sqm
Living Area (GFA): 4040 sqft / 375 m2
Design: 2018 – 2019
Completion: Spring 2022

Client: Private
Budget: Withheld

Architectural Photography: Borzu Talaie

Stack House Forest Hill Toronto

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Stack House, Forest Hill Toronto images / information received 020422

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, North America

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