The home at 548 Richmond St. W. won the 1997 Ontario Association of Architects Award of Excellence for residential design. (unknown)
Specializing in product design and development, Richard Brault and Dianne Croteau, founders of Toronto’s Studio Innova, purchased a small parking lot on Richmond St. W. in 1993, hoping eventually to build a modern live/work space providing a physical separation between the design studio and their personal residence.
“When we were at home we wanted to be at home, not in the studio,” says Ms. Croteau, a Canadian-born industrial designer who earned her Masters in design from Milan’s Domus Academy. “The complete separation between the studio and residence proved to be very beneficial.
Studio House was one of the first legal live-work buildings in the King West area, a new concept that required 18 months to obtain city approvals.
Made of concrete and steel as well as natural materials such as exposed block and solid maple floors, the freehold building is spread over four levels, featuring generous open spaces, high ceilings, extensive natural light from large custom windows.
The two levels of commercial space encompass 1,764 square feet, in addition to 200 square feet of fenced-in private deck space.
The two levels of residential space are spread out over another 2,252 square feet of interior living space with an additional 350 square feet of private courtyard.
The property comes with a secure and accessible underground garage with an elevator. Other notable features include a two-storey glass entrance foyer, custom oversized, solid-core doors, custom metal railings and a wood-burning fireplace.
The 19-foot window wall from the kitchen with a view of the vegetated courtyard is not just an architectural detail, it’s an experience,” says Ms. Croteau. “It opens up the space to the outdoors, giving a feeling of expansiveness. You’d never know from being inside the space that you were in downtown Toronto.”