GREAT SPACE: A Glebe reno creates a welcoming family space

GREAT SPACE: A Glebe reno creates a welcoming family space


This feature appears in Ottawa Magazine’s April 2014 issue. Click here to subscribe to the print or digital versions.

Great Space: The street view shows how the architects played with white (brick) and black (metal) to differ-entiate the old and new sections of this house in the Glebe (Photo: Doublespace Photography)

Thoughtful Contemporary Design for this Glebe Reno
Stand across the street and admire the boldness — and the subtlety — of the facade. Notice how the original brick section of the house is differentiated from the newer top storey through the confident pairing of white and black. More discreet is the shift in geometry between the sections, the metal cube angled just so. Designed by Toronto architects Andrew and Jodi Batay-Csorba, this sophisticated envelope houses a welcoming interior space designed with family in mind.

Ideas from a Different Architectural Climate
The owners, Chad and Lindsay Wilson, were old pros, having previously overseen renovations of three houses in the Glebe and Centretown. This most recent showstopper, though, was far beyond anything they had ever undertaken. In 2010, the couple, who have two small children, purchased the Victorian brick on a quiet dead-end street. “We knew we wanted to be back in the Glebe, and there are so many kids on this street,” says Lindsay. “It was perfect.” What happened next was an exciting collaboration with the Batay-Csorba design duo, who had recently returned to Canada from a seven-year sojourn in Los Angeles.

Cool and Warm Vibes Play Off Each Other
Construction began in 2011 and took place in two stages, with the interior completed in 2012 (when the family moved in) and the exterior finished in 2013. While the exterior gives off a cool vibe, the interior is all about warmth. An open-concept kitchen, living room, and sitting room on the main floor form the heart of the home, the kitchen beautifully delineated by a warm wood ceiling. A skylight runs through the centre of the house, linking the kitchen visually to the family room upstairs and, on the third floor, the master bedroom. It also serves to bring in much-needed light.

Top Floor Sanctuary
The third storey, home to the master bedroom and ensuite bathroom, has a spa-like sensibility, the blond floors of the bedroom giving way seamlessly to the wood-grained ceramic tiles of the luxurious ensuite with bath and double shower. Completing the spa motif is a walkout wood-panelled terrace, walled for privacy and with a modest balcony overlooking the backyard. It’s an ingenious way to link indoors with outdoors and a design solution that could well catch on in central neighbourhoods with little room for a traditional porch.