Created to match the new look of the home, the cedar and glass pavilion and surrounding garden space extend from an exterior renovation into the affluent Forest Hill neighborhood of Toronto. Replacing a more traditional pool house and rounded edge pool, the backyard revolves around the arrangement of geometric shapes, with hard edges softened by greenery and vegetation.
“[The client] wanted to extend the same design sensibility and the same palette of materials to their private outdoor space, ”explains Michael Amantea, founder of Amantea Architects. “They wanted something clean and modern … but they really wanted to be careful that this new exterior renovation doesn’t feel too harsh or cold.”
The long edge facing the owners’ house features a screen of black-tinted cedar bands, which start as broad bands around the edges of the building and tap off as they approach the opening. At night, the pavilion lights up, creating a lantern effect.
Inside, each of the pavilion’s uses flows harmoniously from one to the other. Mechanical and storage rooms flank the middle locker rooms on either side. The front covered walkway leads around a corner, past the storage section, to a bathroom, cloakroom and enclosed shower that opens to the outside.
The 506 square foot pavilion is located on the edge of the yard, as far as zoning permits, and spans almost the entire width of the lot. The building rises just above the ground on helical pillars, designed to reduce its impact on the trees behind it. This preserves the privacy of the owners, retains the existing vegetation and creates a feeling of “endless” space beyond, although the house is bordered by neighbors on three sides.
“We thought if we had designed this well, kind of like a Swiss watch where there isn’t a square inch wasted,” Amantea says, “we could really be successful and develop something that checks all the boxes, but also really increases their awareness. of this small private oasis.