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LAST UPDATE: December 4 2019
1977: Architectural Record Awards
2007: Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
Lawrence and Mary Wolf commissioned this house after having seen Barton Myers' home at 19 Berryman Street in Toronto. Built on steel stilts, the home faces a Rosedale ravine. Exposed ducts, structural steel and electrical pathways are on clear display in Barton Myers' atypical celebration of the 'guts' of his buildings. This construction was largely an experiment in using industrial materials in a long-lasting and attractive way. This is considered a North American architectural landmark! Updates and renovations were done in 1995, 2008 and 2010 for both the interior and exterior of the building. Being on stilts, there was room beneath the house - a large glass box was slid underneath in 1983 to act as a living room at the garden level.
The Wolf Residence is a three-storey modern infill house located on 51 Roxborough Drive, in the Rosedale neighbourhood of Toronto. The 3000 square foot home was built in 1974 and sits on a small sloped topography lot on the edge of a wooded ravine. The site opens up on two sides to the Park Drive Reservation Lands and Roxborough Parkette.
The Wolf Residence's cultural heritage value lies in it being an example of a Industrial Modernism home influenced by the "truth to materials" era of the 20th century. This style of architecture was against the concealment of building materials, it placed an emphasis on showcasing and glorifying materials to portray the true essence of the building. With a lack of ornamentation and a focus on the function to create interesting details, the buildings in this style each told their own story of simplicity. Built by Architect Barton Myers, the homes Industrial and technological design created a very ergonomic design with interchangeable modular units for a growing family and ever-changing stylistic society. Rosedale at the time of construction was a 'posh residential area of the city'. It was a very conservative area within Rosedale and mainly consisted of large traditional houses on small lots. A modern home on this corner lot was considered an anomaly within the neighborhood at the time, but has turned into a respected architectural icon for within the community. In 1998 the second and third floors of the home were redesigned and renovated to suit the homeowners new style and needs, this was made easier because of the functionality and simplicity of the house layout.
The home has some principle character defining elements such as its flexible living spaces, two storey volume that floats above the site on steel columns, carport and exterior courtyard separating the living spaces of the home from front to back. Its exposed standard structural, mechanical and electrical components such as the steel deck, steel joists, mechanical ducts, and wiring are all finely finished and define the house for its very rational, visible and comprehensible character. The exposed focus on component like building materials and their function together make up the key character defining elements of the home.
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