Making an architectural project out of an interior design renovation was achieved by emphasizing the vertical space of the house. The uppermost skylight provides a link to the sky, visible through the glass floor of a steel staircase from the ground level front entrance.
Movement through the house is one of the core principles of the project. By gutting an existing three storey single family row house and inserting two new staircases; one thin and light, the other warm and concentrated; a series of connections is made from the moment one steps through the door.
Underlying the idea of these interconnected stairwells was the notion of opening up the traditional floor plan. The closed, dark spaces of the Victorian home have given way to fluid spaces that are linked by permeations of light through various shifting screens and surfaces. Larger openings in the existing walls and roof have brought in abundant natural light. As an architectural tool, the translucency of walls, openings and surfaces takes on a material quality in similar details. The steel stair itself becomes a filter for light through a skylight at the highest point of the roof. Working within the physical constraints of the existing site, it turns in on itself, using movement and light as the organizing principle. It is an architectural project that re-invents the spatial experience of a typical row house. It is no longer a house of the past; now it expresses the fluid and dynamic spirit of the family that lives in it.
The most striking change designed by Bortolotto for the south Annex home is a pair of aligned staircases which provide a vertical view through to a third floor skylight.
- Mark Curtis, Writer
press + awards
Detailed Experience Canadian Architect
Ian Chodikoff, Canadian Architect, April 2005
Kathy Barthel, Your Source Magazine, Cover & Editorial, April 2005
Calm Space in Busy Annex
Mark Curtis, Tandem Magazine, February 15, 2004
Best of Canada Interiors Award, July/August 2004
Taking a Big Step
Mark Curtis, Tandem Magazine, March 2, 2003