Title:
Location:
Type:
Date:
Team:


Size:
Photography:

Ice House
Toronto, Ontario
Residential
2020
Oakley Construction Inc. (Contractor), Thornton Tomasetti (Structural)

1,500 sq. ft.
Scott Norsworthy

During the mid-late 1800s, ice houses played a vital role in the ice trade by storing and distributing substantial blocks of ice harvested by nearby frozen lakes during the winter. However, the advent of electrical refrigeration in the early 20th century rendered them obsolete, leaving many abandoned and repurposed.

Title:
Location:
Type:
Date:
Team:

Size:
Photography:

Ice House
Toronto, Ontario
Residential
2020
Oakley Construction Inc. (Contractor), Thornton Tomasetti (Structural)
1,500 sq. ft.
Scott Norsworthy

During the mid-late 1800s, ice houses played a vital role in the ice trade by storing and distributing substantial blocks of ice harvested by nearby frozen lakes during the winter. However, the advent of electrical refrigeration in the early 20th century rendered them obsolete, leaving many abandoned and repurposed.

Situated within Pape Village, the subject two-storey building originally served as a storage depot for the Lake Simcoe Ice Ltd., facilitating a “cash and carry” service in the late 1800s. The project strips away previous renovations to reveal the building’s material past.
 
The house is organized so that the public functions – entry foyer, office, kitchen, living room, family room – are located at grade while private functions – bedrooms and bathrooms – are located on the upper floor. The feature stair is the project’s unique insignia and is a pastiche of various canonical examples of stair design.  Design inspiration was drawn from Alvar Aalto’s composition at Villa Mairea for its formal ingenuity and Jean Prouvé’s lacquered steel and oak “ladder” stair, which was introduced in the apartment units at Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation, for its utilitarian clarity.

Throughout the space, velvet curtains offer privacy and contrast to the hard-edged architecture that surrounds them. The design of the millwork, which is predominantly of Russian birch, was inspired by the rustic furniture that stood there before and serves all of the essential functions required of domestic life. Each design element is a reverential homage to reinforce and reinterpret the original architecture.