Skip to main content

Echo House, recently completed on a 2-acre Bridle Path lot by Toronto artist and architect Paul Raff. The sense of the old façade – long, low-slung – has been retained, but Mr. Raff has lightened its formerly ponderous visage by cladding the exterior with silvery Algonquin limestone and stacking clerestory windows on top of it.

Ben Rahn/A-Frame

1 of 14

Landscape architect Janet Rosenberg designed and planted the grounds in the early 1990s. Mr. Raff’s renovation sought, among other things, to connect the house more closely to its verdant surroundings. In the original house, views over the rear garden were largely blocked by opaque walls.

Ben Rahn/A-Frame

2 of 14

The back deck. Mr. Raff’s strategy of renewal has involved radically opening up the house to light and air, and freshening the formerly dour 142-foot front façade. The result is a spacious garden pavilion beautifully tailored for an active family.

Ben Rahn/A-Frame

3 of 14

Privacy screen detail.

Steve Tsai

4 of 14

Story continues below advertisement

In good weather, the owners can welcome the outdoors in by rolling away the glass walls of the austere Bulthaup kitchen and the sitting room, which give onto the garden at the rear.

Ben Rahn / A-Frame/A-Frame

5 of 14

The dining room. It and the home’s other communal rooms are separated from the outside only by large panes of transparent glass (almost eight feet by eight feet square) that slide aside to create an aperture 32 feet wide.

Ben Rahn/A-Frame

6 of 14

Even when the walls are pulled to and shut, nature is still present to sight, because the views out the back of the house are so, inclusive.

Ben Rahn/A-Frame

7 of 14

The master ensuite.

Ben Rahn/A-Frame

8 of 14

The kids’ bedroom.

Ben Rahn/A-Frame

9 of 14

Echo House, pool.

Ben Rahn/A-Frame

10 of 14

Nature is never far from sight, as views out the back of the house are so comprehending.

Steve Tsai

11 of 14

Staircase screen.

Steve Tsai

12 of 14

Workspace. The frostily white walls interior heighten the effect of luxurious hardwood flooring.

Ben Rahn / A-Frame/A-Frame

13 of 14

Mr. Raff filled in the cave-like openings in the façade with interesting privacy screens made from reclaimed Douglas fir and held together by blackened steel clips. This attractive combination of warm timber and metal joinery – inspired, the architect told me, by fine Korean woodcraft – appears elsewhere to accent the predominantly black and white character of the scheme.

Ben Rahn/A-Frame

14 of 14

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Discussion loading ...