Gazing House by Atelier RZLBD

Located at the Scarborough Junction, in the east end of Toronto, Gazing House is a modern two-story house designed in 2016 by Atelier RZLBD.

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About Gazing House

The Curious Face of Scarborough Junction

Overlooking the streets of Scarborough Junction, the house unveils itself through two symmetrical windows. These eyes on the world are set in a cantilevered mass, hovering above the main floor like a face leaning out curiously. Crafted within the constraints of a narrow site, a tight budget, and a crowded area, this Toronto east-end dwelling transcends its boundaries. It injects vibrancy into a neighborhood of typical infills, championing accessible design for all.

A Unified Space Through Order and Design

The Gazing House unfolds from a pair of squares, split by a central pathway that dictates the flow. This ordered framework knits the interior spaces into a coherent whole, accommodating diverse room layouts for each floor’s needs. The central staircase serves as the home’s spine, guiding movement across both floors horizontally and vertically. It binds the house’s elements, offering a direct encounter with its entirety.

Illumination Across Levels

The east-west orientation of the lot invites limited sunlight through its front and back. Yet, skylights harness light all day, channeling brightness through the voids. In moments, rays dive down to the basement, forging a vertical spatial continuity. This design creates a seamless void, a core theme for the atelier.

Façade: The House’s Inherent Order

The facade reflects the atelier’s devotion to inherent order. Inside, the windows offer diverse perspectives, framing views at deliberate points within the house’s rhythm. From the comfort of a bed to the focus of a workstation, each glimpse outward is orchestrated to elicit both anticipation and delight. These outward gazes mirror the home’s own watchful presence, embodying the life within.

In the lineage of the atelier’s work, The Gazing House stands as a “positive virus,” destined to engage and transform its immediate surroundings and ripple its influence into the broader Toronto landscape.

Photography by Borzu Talaie

Visit Atelier RZLBD

- by Matt Watts