Name: Oakcrest Residence

Location: Toronto, Canada

Team: Jodi Batay-Csorba, Andrew Batay-Csorba

Project Area: 1,350 sqft

Project Year: 2011

Client: Batay-Csorba

Project Status: Construction Completion 2011


The 1,300 sf semi detached house was originally built in 1907. It was fully gutted and remodelled for a very low budget that we both designed and built ourselves.

Toronto’s century old housing stock consists of carefully arranged dense rows of single and multi unit Victorian, Arts and Craft and Bay and Gable style houses intermixed within the density of the city; lining the streets in identical fashion with a prescribed boundary of vegetative space.

The house confronts as its organizing device the most utilitarian function of a house; storage. The necessity of which becomes paramount when working within a structure designed for a culture prior to the explosion of consumerism. The conceptual notion of poche is mobilized in plan by thickening both longitudinal sides of an elongated plan. The thickening emphasizes the directional quality on the rather banal plan and focuses views and the circulation to the front and back gardens. Thick walls become built in storage and perform two vital tasks. First as an obvious storage container of mixed items that extends from the kitchen to living room. Secondly it provides sound attenuation between attached units. This concept is multiplied vertically within the two bedrooms on the second floor and within a book case on the lower basement level.

Materials were chosen for the contrasting qualities along with textural multiplicities. Inversely, custom fabricated lighting is articulated with a golden glow on the main floor with four identical custom fixtures at various heights, which also emphasize the linearity of the plan and axial focus. We feel that by confronting the seemingly banal necessities of modern living that we are able to transform this typology into a performative environment. 

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