Baby Point Residence is a 2019 project of a house renovation/addition by Batay-Csorba Architects located in Toronto’s Baby Point neighborhood, Canada. The project consists of the addition of a kitchen and master bedroom suite, opening up of the existing layout, re-organization, and structural renewal. The residence spaces are not only warm but also rich. The original exterior of the stucco and stones of the house also has been kept intact.
The prominent French-Canadian merchant James Baby bought 1500 acres of the land for his estate in the early 1820s. The land had salmon swimming along the Humber River and also apple orchards. The heirs continued to occupy this land until the government acquired it in 1910 for military purposes. The heritage status of the neighborhood is still under study and the purchaser agreements have been lifted after 100 years.
The clients of this project are interested in the Arts and Crafts movement. In order to preserve neighborhood character, the architect works to understand the movement underlying principles. They also interpret the Arts and Crafts movement spatially beyond the ornamentation, Medieval motifs, and nostalgia for handcraftsmanship.
This house comes with the creation of immersive and enveloping spaces through warm, rich tones and materials and also the weight overall sense. The open floor plan organization into the intimate sub-spaces is articulated through furniture built into a thickened wall and organized around a specific activity.
The original exterior of the house of stones and stucco has been kept intact from the Humber River. By cutting a large double-height slice, the architect focuses on the opening views to the back ravine on the west side then adding an additional peak to the back façade of the house.
The interior is subdivided into small rooms and all floors are opened with slicing through the home to let the light flow into the house space. Around a built-in storage piece, the main floor of the house is centered and it also acts as a heavy mass. There is a bar nook on the dining side, fridge and a coffee bar, and a pantry provided on the kitchen side.
Through a thickening of the bulkheads, different programmatic zones can be created in the floor plan and opportunities for comfy seating also can be designed through all windows that clad and thickened in wood. The custom furniture in this house is built by Heidi Earnshaw, a local Toronto designer. The attention and warmth to the detail reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts aesthetic come from the furniture such as breakfast banquette.
Photography: Doublespace Photography