Batay-Csorba Architects recently completed the Double Duplex, located on Melbourne Avenue in Parkdale, one of Toronto's most notable historic neighbourhoods for their century old Victorian and Bay and Gable mansions.
The Double Duplex was created in response to the cities growing need for alternative housing models due to the rising cost of urban real estate and the need for urban densification within Toronto's established residential neighbourhoods. A proliferation of high and mid-rise condo's have densified the urban core and serve as the predominant model for entry level home ownership within the city. However, very few new low rise infill models of densification or affordable living within Toronto's sought after historic residential neighbourhoods have been developed.
The Double Duplex geometry registers datum's of adjacent neighbours window and door opening heights, roof slopes and eave heights, and material transitions on either side producing specific formal relationships. By leveraging digital fabrication techniques and use of new material technologies for perceptual, spatial and formal effect, Batay-Csorba Architects translated the notion of 19th century craft by way of a two story brise soleil. The brise soleil encloses the front and rear balconies, allowing for controlled lighting conditions and privacy. Constructed of a bio-enhanced, rot resistant and sustainable softwood, the individual pieces are organized to create a large scale dynamic façade. During the day the light is filtered and illuminates the interior spaces with ephemeral dappled light effects. And at night the screen reads as a decorative glowing lantern.