Situated on a narrow lot in an older Toronto neighborhood, the Sky-garden House provides outdoor living spaces on multiple levels to address the owners? desire for a better connection to the home?s natural surroundings. The owners spend their weekends at their country home, located next to a stream and surrounded by trees; they wanted their new home in the city to mimic this bucolic experience in an urban environment, and to satisfy their deep connection with nature.
Although the new house is only 2,420 square feet, it feels much larger?its rooms expand beyond the interior of the house to a series of highly useable outdoor spaces that enrich the domestic experience, each with its own unique character and varying level of privacy. The plant material was selected to provide visual interest year round. Even the existing porch at the front of the house is remade into a private outdoor dining room enclosed by a five-foot-high wood screen, extending the private realm into the public arena. On the third floor, two significant outdoor spaces provide green respite. An exposed roof deck at the back of the house has plentiful views over the neighborhood and into the extensive green canopy surrounding the house. At the front of the house, half of the master bedroom is given over to an intimate exterior space clad in the warm ash, with a recessed planter and an opening carved into the roof for natural light, access to rainwater and ample views of green. Intimately connected to the master suite, this "sky-garden" functions as a unique outdoor room, open to the sky, sun, wind and stars.