Webb & Lashbrook / General Contractors

Annex House II

This tranquil two-storey addition to a 1880s cottage in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood is unusual in that it adds to the front of the long narrow property. An over feeling of transparency is achieved through the complex engineering of its steel structure, designed to create the impression of open, unsupported corners. These highly engineered cantilevers were achieved with an invisible moment connection and complex wood beam structure working together to achieve the overall “floating” effect.

On the ground floor, a new formal living room looks out onto the front garden and tree-lined street. A media room above is a more informal space, with built-in cabinets and a large sliding door that separates it from the original house. The exterior is finished in dark corrugated metal with curtain wall construction giving an austere but serene feeling to the new elements.

The openness and transparency of this project depends on very precise execution of architectural details—for example, the incorporation of mechanical slabs without bulkheads, and the alignment where the floor-to-ceiling glass meets the wood floor.

The project was designed by Gary McCluskie of Diamond and Schmitt Architects.

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