High Park Residence by Batay-Csorba Architects

Living spaces connected by the persistent geometry of a barrel vault

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards Batay-Csorba Architects for providing the following description:


In the chaos of life today a home needs to be a place of refuge, a solitude for the homeowners to retreat to. Built for an Italian couple, the design pays homage both to the clients’ Italian heritage and that of the Toronto residential building fabric, while ensuring a sensitivity towards wellbeing, mobility, and convenience.

▼住宅外观,exterior view © Doublespace Photography



The design of the Pacific project is born from the homeowners’ values and traditions where the comforts of their past are now viscerally felt within their present-day lives. The vault, in its many permutations, is one of the most common archetypes of ancient Roman architecture, characterized by its powerful modulation of light and its sense of lightness.

The vault geometry extends the length of the lot, informing a relationship between the façade and the interior. From the exterior, the brick vault is a subtraction from the otherwise monolithic brick frontage. This monolithic façade is created through a focus on the rich materiality of the brick coursing, and the isolated dormer which mirrors the proportions of the neighboring house.

▼砖砌的拱顶从单一的体量上切割而来 © Doublespace Photography
From the exterior, the brick vault is a subtraction from the otherwise

▼立面,facade © Doublespace Photography


The front of the home is reduced to a monolithic façade – where single repetitive material ornamentation, an adaptation of the Flemish-bond, becomes an even but textured brickfield placing emphasis on the vaulted profile. This field of patterning emphasizes a play of light and shadow and picks up on seasonal changes. In the summer, the protrusions texture the façade with stark shadows, and in the winter the texture transforms through bricks creating shelves for the snow to fall on.

▼均匀而又充满质感的砖砌结构,an even but textured brickfield © Doublespace Photography

▼砖墙肌理,the brick texture © Doublespace Photography

▼拱顶下的入口,entrance under  the vault © Doublespace Photography


▼轴测图,axon © Batay-Csorba Architects

To emphasize the project’s geometric simplicity, all circulation, services, and entry conditions are tucked into a linear bar that runs adjacent to the vault. Upon entering the house, visitors begin in a compressed service ‘bar’, which then opens into the ground floor’s expansive and airy living spaces. Throughout the length of the ground floor, the barrel vault’s persistent geometry connects these living spaces, accentuating the client’s desire for connectivity in food preparation, eating, and socializing.

▼入口玄关,entry hall © Doublespace Photography

▼桶状的拱形空间跨越了整个首层的长度 © Doublespace Photography
The barrel vault’s persistent geometry connects the living spaces throughout the length of the ground floor

▼餐厨空间,kitchen and dining area © Doublespace Photography

▼从厨房望向客厅,view towards the living room from the kitchen © Doublespace Photography

▼客厅细节,living room interior view © Doublespace Photography


While the barrel vault brings these spaces together, moments of articulation and relief are found through tangential peels and cuts in the vaulted ceiling. The vault remains intact in the dining room, is cut at the length of the kitchen, becomes intact again in the living room, and then unfolds and peels into the backyard. This spatially delineates connected spaces, while also providing natural light to flood into the deep and narrow lot.

▼厨房位于狭长平面的中央,通过上方的天窗收获充裕的自然光线 © Doublespace Photography
Situated in the middle of a long floorplan, the kitchen opens and is flooded with natural light from a skylight above

▼拱顶上方的开口和缝隙带来适度的停顿与缓解 © Doublespace Photography
Moments of articulation and relief are found through tangential peels and cuts in the vaulted ceiling


▼轴测分析图,digram © Batay-Csorba Architects

While the ground floor remains unimpeded and connected, the second floor is sliced into rooms connected by bridges. This allows for rooms to be stacked in a narrow lot with natural daylight reaching each room and the ground floor below. On this floor, the services of the laundry room, bathroom, and stairs are also tucked into the ‘bar’, while the bedroom, study, and master suite are stacked from the front to the back of the house. The slice between the bedroom and study allows both rooms to share natural daylight brought in from the lightwell and the façade’s dormer window. The master suite is lit from both the house’s back façade and the skylight above the kitchen.

▼厨房顶部的天窗,the skylight above the kitchen © Doublespace Photography

▼卧室,bedroom © Doublespace Photography

▼室内窗景,view from the room © Doublespace Photography

▼住宅冬景,the house in the winter © Doublespace Photography

▼平面图,floor plans © Batay-Csorba Architects

▼剖面图1,section 1 © Batay-Csorba Architects

▼剖面图2,section 2 © Batay-Csorba Architects

Location: Toronto Ontario, Canada
Area: 3,500 sft
Photography: Doublespace Photography
Status: Completed, 2020

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