Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Roncesvalles Accessible House in Toronto, Canada by Solares Architecture
February 10th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Solares Architecture
In 2013, a couple in their 50s, came to Solares Architecture with an important request – to transform their 1911 Toronto semi-detached home into a beautiful, modern, and, most importantly, accessible house.
In 2006, the husband and father of the household had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and was soon in need of a mobility device. Once the family began looking into buying an accessible home, they realized how few there were on the market. Usually, accessible houses are built-as-needed, and the option of buying one is hugely expensive. Even a bungalow would need major renovation work to become fully accessible. After assessing these costs, the family decided to instead renovate their existing home, bought in 1989.
That’s where Solares came in – a Toronto-based Architecture firm, specializing in high performance homes and sustainable design. The firm responded with a resounding \”yes!\” and got to work.
The front facade had two sets of stairs up to the front door, and was recently renovated. Instead of demolishing them and building bulky mobility equipment, Solares kept the front in tact. Instead, they focused on the rear of the house and its raised backyard. The backyard had to be fully excavated, to create an at-grade entrance to a laneway behind the house, and to build a covered garage. The covered garage houses an accessible entrance into the husband’s \”man cave\”. The huge basement with 9ft ceilings includes an accessible bathroom, and a huge, relaxing living and studio area, as he works in television. A bedroom, for one of the daughters to stay in when visiting, is also in the basement.
In the house, the stair was moved to the center of the home, and configured in a U-shape. An elevator was installed then installed, right next to the stair, so both the stair and elevator opened to the same landing on every floor.
On the main floor, the stair and elevator sit between a large dining room, attached to the front foyer, and a kitchen, with a low counter for easily accessible coffee, tea, and food preparation. The living room sits past the kitchen with large at-grade sliding doors to the rooftop patio on top of the garage. The 750 sq.ft. patio gets tons of sunshine and is surrounded by full-depth flower beds.
On the second floor is the master bedroom, with a large, low-lying window, another large accessible bathroom bathroom, and a second bedroom for the other daughter’s visits from university. Finally, the third floor comprises the wife’s art studio.
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