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Architect Paul Raff obsesses over the sun. He pores over sun charts, uses computer modelling to observe how it behaves through the seasons, and creates time-lapse photographs to determine how light strikes his buildings at various times of the day. Were he a different kind of person, this fixation would seem almost spiritual, but Raff is a pragmatic designer.[caption id="attachment_36402" align="alignnone" width="1300"] Vertical exterior panels by Praxy Cladding are made of zinc and are insulated to enhance energy retention.[/caption]
He recently completed Kaleidoscope House, a Toronto residence that not only absorbs sunlight, but also repels, refracts, diffuses and channels it. The building, located in a tree-lined neighbourhood and designed for a family of four, is in some respects a typical contemporary home, with its split-level floors, oak-and-limestone material palette, and open-concept living area. But the fenestration is highly irregular. In many of his residential buildings, Raff experiments with windows, using crenellated or layered glass, or opting for lopsided arrangements that favour some walls and neglect others. The second floor of Kaleidoscope House has two clerestory window bands that face south: one running along the mezzanine just above eye level and a second in a vaulted ceiling atop the stairwell. The north-facing wall is almost windowless except for a small portal at the back of the laundry room.
This set-up is utilitarian, not stylistic. During the Canadian winter, the sun rises in the southeast and sets in the southwest; in summertime, it makes the same east-to-west journey but at a more northward tilt. Raff maximizes the natural light in the gloomy winters and limits it during the summer by setting windows primarily along the southern wall. “When you look at a house or any building in this climate, you should be able to tell which way is north or south,” he says. The Kaleidoscope House also has east- and west-facing windows — allowing views onto the street and backyard — though, here, the light is controlled by way of blinds, overhangs and backyard tree cover.[caption id="attachment_36398" align="alignnone" width="1300"] One of the two south-facing window bands above the stairwell. Its clerestory position lets in the sun, while the mirrored stairwell refracts the light down to the lower levels.[/caption]
The centrepiece of the house, and what earned it its name, is the open-tread stairwell adorned with a mirrored balustrade. The shiny surface that extends from the basement to the second floor has an art deco glamour about it, but its elegance is also practical; the mirrors reflect light from the mezzanine and diffuse it throughout the house. “It isn’t always true that more light is better,” says Raff. “What matters is the quality of light.”[caption id="attachment_36400" align="alignnone" width="1300"] The mirrored balustrade continues into the basement, where an outdoor light well brings sunlight below.[/caption]
He describes the majority of Toronto buildings as “energy pigs.” Poorly lit and improperly insulated, most are made livable through extensive cooling and heating systems. Here, by channelling sunlight judiciously, the house reduces energy consumption significantly, with air conditioning an occasional peak-summer indulgence. The home is further future-proofed by keeping advancements in sustainability and technology in mind. The garage, for instance, has a port for electric cars, and the interior wiring is sheathed in outsized conduit chases, anticipating the advent of smart electrical systems that will require thick bundles of cables.
Raff designed the living areas in order to take advantage of the light quality. The furnishings and built-ins evoke themes of luminosity, fluidity and integration with nature. The firm created millwork pieces that demarcate nooks and hutches without cutting them off from the light flow. And at the centre of the downstairs living area, Raff set a rectangular planter containing three dracaenas, leafy shrubs native to Africa, South Asia and Central America. Normally in a Canadian home it would be impossible to grow tropical species far from the nearest window, but the decision bespeaks a sense of confidence. I can get away with this, Raff seems to say. The light here is just that good. paulraffstudio.com[post_title] => Paul Raff's Kaleidoscope House Channels the Sun [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => paul-raff-kaleidoscope-house [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-03-19 15:07:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-19 19:07:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://designlinesmagazine.com/?p=36395 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 41664 [post_author] => 19 [post_date] => 2019-03-19 09:02:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-19 13:02:19 [post_content] => At the entrance of Hollace Cluny, there is a welcoming vignette – a taste of this showroom’s eclectic collection. A blooming white rose of a chandelier – Pascale Girardin’s Love Me Not light fixture, produced by Juniper in thermoformed acrylic – hangs above Tom Faulkner’s Ava dining table, which features a glass top over two stacked burnished-steel pyramids. Behind, a glossy cabinet by Morgan Clayhall is topped with a gnarled-wood art piece, and a classic Knoll chair completes the scene. This combination of hard and soft textures, and of mid-century and contemporary styles defines Hollace Cluny’s unique offerings. “We love to mix,” says owner Susan Fowlie, “we’re not hard-edge contemporary.” Hollace Cluny boasts a varied – and often surprising – range of brands and designers. World-renowned names like Knoll, Carl Hansen & Son, De La Espada, Gubi and the often-imitated, never replicated Serge Mouille are shown alongside emerging studios like Apparatus. Hollace Cluny is the only retailer in Toronto for the New York lighting firm and its expressive luminaires, which includes arresting pieces like Median and Cloud Light. Amongst other contemporary creators also showcased in the shop are BassamFellows (a must-see: the Connecticut studio’s beautifully crafted leather chairs from the Geometric and Sling collections), North Carolina’s Skram, New York’s Douglas Fanning and Ontario’s own Apa Furniture, makers of fine wood furniture. Her most colourful offerings might just be a collection of painted-ceramic stools by New York artist and designer Reinaldo Sanguino. All of these pieces represent relationships that Fowlie has nurtured through her unbounded excitement for making connections with new creators. “The hunt is half the fun,” she says. “Also, after 25 years, we’re in a nice situation now where we are being approached by designers.” To add to her furniture and lighting lines, she also carries paintings and prints by Canadian artists including George Whiteside, Jacques Pilon and Ronald Boaks, as well as a range of African wood carvings. For interior designers, the best surprise is in the back space: an expansive room punctuated with a wallpaper mural of vintage books by the Dutch brand NLXL. In one of its past lives, the building was a bank, and in the vault – which Fowlie had painted black – she recently displayed a stunning glass Kingdom Arch chandelier by New York’s Lindsey Adelman. There is also a meeting space where designers can confer privately with clients to choose furniture selections and upholstery fabrics. But everyone is welcomed in Hollace Cluny. “People can come in and look – we’re proud of our lines and artists,” says Fowlie. “And we wanted to create an environment rather than a ‘store.’ Along with my amazing staff, we’ve been able to do just that.” Visit Hollace Cluny in Toronto at 245 Davenport Road and at hollacecluny.ca. The showroom is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, and on Saturdays by appointment only; closed on Sundays. Read our showroom listing for more details. [post_title] => Hollace Cluny’s New Showroom Inspires with Curated Interior Scenes [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => hollace-cluny-inspires [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://designlinesmagazine.com/where/hollace-cluny/ [post_modified] => 2019-03-19 13:50:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-19 17:50:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://designlinesmagazine.com/?p=41664 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 41779 [post_author] => 19 [post_date] => 2019-03-19 09:00:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-19 13:00:56 [post_content] => Milky's Coffee on Dundas West packs a lot of good things into a small space. Of course, there are the frothy drinks, including turmeric and chai lattes infused with zingy ingredients like ginger and lemongrass. And also the treats: think not-too-sweet chocolate-swirled biscotti from Forno Cultura that pair beautifully with espresso from Landscape Coffee Roasters. But it's the dazzling wood panelling that has us (and every lifestyle influencer in the city) drooling over this tiny cafe. Designed by Toronto and L.A.'s Batay-Csorba, the interior is wrapped in diamond-shaped Matita wood from Relative Space, whose owner, Fraser Greenberg, is also behind the coffee shop. He supplied the 1,300 panels that span the floor, walls and ceiling, creating a cohesive "loud minimalist" geometry with interlocking marble segments. The pattern changes as it wraps around the space, showing off the skill of the architecture and design studio, BSA. In fact, the emerging firm is fast becoming a go-to for captivating textural surfaces. Take Headfoneshop, a tiny audio boutique decked in 255-folded metal panels, which we named the best retail space of the year, or this brick-clad Parkdale duplex that filters dappled light into the home. Even the lighting here is highly considered, following a Circadian rhythm throughout the day: bright and energizing in the morning and calming in the afternoon. That's a good way to describe the mood in the cafe, where even the shelves are invisible so as not to interrupt the flow of panelling. In the shop windows, two Highwire pendants in custom anodized gold by Toronto's Anony produce a warm, modern glow. Together with Greenberg, the lighting studio's Christian Lo also designed a collection of ceramics -- appropriately called Milkyware -- in which the coffee shop's rotating drink specials are served. Going forward, baristas whose beverage creations make it onto the menu will earn a percentage of sales. Drinks like the China Town Fog, served in a dimpled glass, are infused with lychee, ginger, lemongrass and vanilla. Simple, but full of depth -- just like the cafe. Says Greenberg: "We want to be the most reliable place to compensate for things that might be missing from someone’s day: bright lights to counteract our long, grey winter days, a pop of bright colour to alleviate our mainly concrete streetscape, friendly baristas before heading out on a lonely streetcar ride." Take it from us, Milky's is a wonderful respite from the cold. Milky's Coffee, 760 Dundas Street West. Looking for more design-forward coffee spots? Check out Cops, Synonym and Detour. [post_title] => Design Travels Up the Walls at Milky's Coffee [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => milkys-coffee-batay-csorba [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://designlinesmagazine.com/biscotteria-forno-cultura-union-station/ https://designlinesmagazine.com/headfoneshop-batay-csorba-architects/ [post_modified] => 2019-03-19 13:49:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-19 17:49:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://designlinesmagazine.com/?p=41779 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 12 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18328 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2015-12-02 15:49:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-12-02 20:49:52 [post_content] => Best wishes for the holidays, from all of us at Designlines. We’re taking a short break, but will be back on January 4. Meanwhile, here’s some year-end reading: How Downtown Decorates for the Holidays 2015 in Review: Our Most Popular Stories 2015 in Review: Toronto's Best New Design Stores Design Ideas from 12 Fresh, Real-Life Dining Rooms [post_title] => Happy Holidays from Designlines [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => happy-holidays-from-designlines [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://designlinesmagazine.com/2015-in-review-our-most-read-stories/ https://designlinesmagazine.com/toronto-office-towers-christmas-decorations/ https://designlinesmagazine.com/photo-gallery-dining-rooms/ [post_modified] => 2016-01-04 11:02:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-01-04 16:02:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://designlinesmagazine.com/?p=18328 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 1113 [max_num_pages] => 93 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => 1 [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 9c476237b580a66744e0ec605d104b90 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => Array (  => about  => an  => are  => as  => at  => be  => by  => com  => for  => from  => how  => in  => is  => it  => of  => on  => or  => that  => the  => this  => to  => was  => what  => when  => where  => who  => will  => with  => www ) [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array (  => query_vars_hash  => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array (  => init_query_flags  => parse_tax_query ) ) -->