Contrast House by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design

This modern single family house redesigned in 2012 by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design is located in Toronto, Canada.


Contrast House explores the role of contrast in the modern renewal of a 120-year old home. Employing the use of contrast in a historic neighborhood and as a means to amplify natural light, the design juxtaposes elements to explore the relationship between light and dark, old and new. The owners, relocating to Canada from southern climes, hoped to brighten the dark, narrow house. Although the existing house possessed a south-facing facade, it was only 11 feet wide and due to a traditional Victorian layout, had no direct sight lines to allow outward views and access to light. As a result, the primary design challenge was to increase natural light in the space, accomplished through both physical and perceptual means. Physically, the long, narrow house was reorganized in plan and in section, introducing new sight lines to the expanded openings at the rear of the house and updating the layout for a growing family. Perceptually, contrast is used as a means to brighten internal spaces without direct access to natural light. Contrasting elements are placed in proximity to visually intensify the natural light spilling down from the large openings above.

Photography courtesy of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design

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- by Matt Watts