As property values in metropolitan areas continue their prohibitive rise, urban families are always on the hunt for creative, affordable living solutions. Founding partners of Canadian architecture firm Studio Junction Christine Ho Ping Kong and Peter Tan designed their own home in Toronto to explore how they might use an ancient approach to architecture to transform urban infill into habitable plots, creating their own brand of urban alchemy.
Photography by Rob Fiocca.
Above: The greatest challenge to building a house on urban infill is the potential lack of natural daylight. To solve the problem of their site–situated in a mixed-use, industrial neighborhood–Kong and Tan took inspiration from age-old courtyard housing. Their design revolves around two courtyards, one at ground level and the other on the second floor. The light from the secondary courtyard draws daylight not only into the second floor but the office on the first floor as well.
Above: A built-in bed and storage divide the children’s room from the master bedroom. A sliding partiton within the bed provides easy access in both directions. For more innovative children’s beds, see 10 Favorites: Creative Beds for Children.
Above: The original contractor warehouse that sat on the site. Photograph via Dwell.
Above: Studio Junction’s Courtyard House under construction. Photograph via Dwell.
For another creative, affordable urban living solution–two families sharing one house–take a look at The Architect Is In: Elizabeth Roberts Adds Value in Brooklyn.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on May 30, 2013, as part of our The Kids Are All Right issue.