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On the level in a modern Toronto bungalow

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Modern bungalow built by architect D'Arcy Jones in Toronto's Wanless Park. The owners lived in the original house for years, and when they commissioned a contemporary home by Vancouver architect D’Arcy Jones, they ignored the conventions of high-end real estate in the city, including the tendency to go big. “The neighbours ask, why did you tear your house down to build the same house?” one of them says with a laugh.

Photos Bob Gundu

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‘Everything here is about what we want and how we live,’ says the owner of this 2,500-sq. ft. Toronto home.

Bob Gundu

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You step up onto a covered porch, then turn left into a foyer lined with rich grey basalt tile, artfully framed windows and a wall of white oak. Turn right, through a narrow passageway, and the house’s interior balloons – the ceiling soaring up to a tent-like form with skylights at the top, a glassy wall beyond, angular hunks of wall and woodwork billowing upward and outward.

Bob Gundu

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Mr. Jones says he simply wanted the house to serve its owners, and to respect their desire for a contemporary building that suited their specific needs. The point was 'the elegant lining of the bungalow.’

Bob Gundu

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'I wanted a house that works for what we need,’ the owner says; she lists well-configured linen closets and a master bath that has just one sink. (Who needs a second sink?)

Bob Gundu

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The hipped roof of the building also shapes the ceiling inside.

Bob Gundu

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Mr. Jones calls this Abenbare House, borrowing the Danish word for ‘gap’ or ‘reveal.’ In his view, the house’s small ‘reveals’ speak loudly – the small ones that make art out of a simple wall slab, and larger gaps that circle the foundation of the house, bringing light into the below-ground areas. All these help reveal the design potential of a familiar house form.

Bob Gundu

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The living room and kitchen (not too large, with room for a piano) are at the rear, accented by anodized bronze windows and doors that offer views of the backyard landscape.

Bob Gundu

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The 2,500-square-foot building seems very liveable. A home office sits in the middle; and three modest bedrooms are tucked down a secondary hallway, along with lots of storage, the stairs to the basement and a dog shower. According to the client, the layout works perfectly for their family.

Bob Gundu

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