Art & Architecture


Issue 2, 2020: Small Spaces, Smart Solutions

Toronto is big, but the same can’t be said for the dwellings we inhabit. For some, that’s no problem. Inside, four homes show off different ways to coax plenty of room from compact spaces. In this issue, you’ll also find: three inspiring urban garden treatments, the latest in Toronto-distilled spirits, an insider’s look at how the city’s hottest new restaurant – Gusto 501 – came to life, where to buy versatile and modular furnishings for small spaces, and so much more!

Azure Publishing Inc.
Read More
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
in praise of small spaces

As I’ve mentioned before, I am, dear readers, a small-space dweller. Have been for a long time, and probably always will be. There are socio-economic reasons for this, of course, but I also now know that it suits me. That took some time to learn, what with family and friends regarding my space with sympathy, and hard-to-shake “more is more” and “keeping up with the Joneses” thinking. Indeed, those of us with less than 1,000 square feet could use some encouragement, so I’ve polled the three architects featured in this issue for advice. They not only design small spaces but live in them, too. “The obvious benefits of small-space living,” says Tim Mitanidis, who resolved a client’s loft in the Junction (page 60), “are mostly centred around supporting a more sustainable…

1 min.

Rosemary Poole What impressed you most while writing the loft piece (p. 60)? The level of patience involved. The homeowners are close friends with the Creative Union architects and discussed renovation plans with them for five years before demolition began. What creative way did you overcome tight quarters in your own home? Instead of upper cabinets, we installed one long open shelf for dishes and glassware. Keeping things on display prevents us from accumulating objects we don’t need or use every day. Simon Lewsen What was your major takeaway from writing the Johnson Chou home feature (p. 66)? Chou and Stadtmueller have created a home that is simple but never boring. When you strip away visual distractions, you focus attention on elemental features like volume and light. What creative way did you overcome tight quarters in your own…

1 min.
one thing

It’s early January and gh3’s architecture office is quiet, the designers working before computers in the darkness. Enter Sylvia Lee (executive and creative director of Jeff Goodman Studio) and her installation crew, who proceed to drill through the street-facing wall. Up go four copper branches, the longest cantilevering more than a metre out. Spiraling around them, all golden angle–like, are 29 hand-blown glass “leaves” lit from within by LEDs. The fixture floods the office with springtime ambiance, making the architects blink and passersby ogle. Paired with a glass “pebble,” the inventive piece (called Daydream Under the Penny Vine) is Lee’s first lighting project. Based in a 613-square-metre facility in East York, her five-person team typically busies itself reproducing its late founder’s glass vessels. Every summer, though, Lee makes good on her…

1 min.
brand new to to

1 min.
coffee with designers

Every week, Ja Architecture’s Nima Javidi and Behnaz Assadi and a revolving group of designers, architects and more gather at Forno Cultura’s Queen West location. Conversation is unfixed and touches on everything from the chairs they’re sitting on to Iranian politics. The interior likewise contains multitudes: the “alternative baking space” was formerly a condo sales centre, a mechanic’s garage and maybe even a house. And with retail and a bakery, it’s still a shared space. Go to dlm.ag/CoffeeWithJaArchitecture to read our conversation with Ja Architecture Studio about casual roundtables, finding new projects and popular design culture.…

1 min.
fresh facade forward

Craig Race’s home will make you do a double take. At a glance, the facade’s shape is no different than other Leslieville Edwardians. Look closer, though, and you’ll notice its arching cedar cladding and uneven, curved face. The unconventional design is made possible by the side walls, which do all the load-bearing, and a well-placed steel beam. It’s not just for show. By cantilevering the facade outward, Race created more square metreage for his growing family on a small footprint while smoothly reconciling the setbacks of the neighbouring houses – making for a home that, at third glance, fits right in. CRAIGRACE.COM To read about the home behind the facade, go online to dlm.ag/freshfacadeforward.…