Team: Taylor Smyth Architects
Size: 4,300 sq. ft.
Location: Scarborough, Canada
Contractor: Arthur Ross Ltd.
Press Distribution: v2com
About Taylor Smyth Architects
Taylor Smyth Architects is a full-service Canadian practice dedicated to the creation of enduring buildings of exceptional quality.
Since its inception in 2000, Taylor Smyth Architects has developed an international reputation for creating elegant architecture and interiors within Canada and abroad. Each project is cultivated from the spirit of its location, the unique tastes and aspirations of our clients, and a focus on authentic material expression.
They develop trusting, long-term relationships with clients, suppliers, contractors, and colleagues by listening carefully, providing unparalleled service, and through their exceptional attention to detail. They combine their project experience and technical rigor with a profound interest in the way people live, work, and play, to create innovative buildings that both nurture and delight.
They are inspired by fundamental criteria to which they believe all people respond: light, texture and color, natural materials and proportions, a sense of openness and of the sheltered enclosure, access to views, and a connection to the outdoors. Combining these sensitivities with quality materials and fine craftsmanship, they aspire to create refined private residences, high-quality public buildings, and exceptional redevelopment projects.
Their award-winning firm has expertise in a broad range of project types including residential and interior design, educational, recreational, and workplace facilities, retail environments, and master planning. Their work has received wide recognition through numerous local, national, and international publications and awards.
The clients, Jesleen and Jihad, a young professional couple expecting their first child, approached Taylor Smyth to design a new residence, having been impressed by one of their other contemporary houses nearby, winner of the People’s Choice Award for the Ontario Association Design Excellence Awards (“House on the Bluffs”). Both sites feature breathtaking views over Lake Ontario, perched fifty feet above the lake at the edge of the cliff formation known as the Scarborough Bluffs.
Maximizing the views to the lake and embracing the landscape were guiding design inspirations. The house is focused on a two-story great room, skylit along one side, and fully glazed at the back, with large sliding doors that open out to the backyard and swimming pool.
An exterior planter extends inside, along with a vertical screen of oak slats, to define the separation between the great room and dining room. An open feature stair winds through the center of the house up to the 3rd-floor roof terrace, specifically requested by the client where they could enjoy spectacular views of the lake above the tree canopy.
Outside, the white stucco walls and black metal accent panels are combined with warm oak-look phenolic panels (Trespa) on the garage door and soffits, chosen for their no-maintenance composition, important considerations in Ontario’s widely fluctuating summer and winter climate.
The material palette inside features light oak floors throughout, with accents of both white and black large-scale porcelain, the former reproducing the rich patterns of Statuario marble. The second floor contains three bedrooms. The master bedroom features a spacious and luxurious ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet, where the white and black porcelain slabs are combined to create a dramatic contrast.
Since moving into the house, the client has welcomed their second child and the house has become a frequent destination for large extended family events. “My daughter loves it here,” Jesleen says. “Every morning she comes down to the living room and says, ‘hello world! She likes to wave out to the birds and the trees.”