“Working Home” Sparrow Residence, Toronto

The owners of this mini-complex in downtown Toronto are management consultants with much work in Japan; they wanted an office/home which would not look out of place if transported to Tokyo. The mini-tower, attached to the rear of one of Toronto's oldest townhouses, includes offices at the basement and ground floors, with living spaces above. Through creative use of partial mezzanines, five usable storeys are created where zoning permits only three. Upper decks provide sunny views of the financial core, while the north side is treated as a Scottish castle keep, to protect against the busy adjacent street. The colours? An antidote to the drabness of wintertime Toronto. The Ontario Association of Architects named this the best-designed home of 1993, and the photos here are extracts from an article on strong new Canadian architecture in the British journal Architectural Review.