The Integral House

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The Integral House | Notes of Interest

The Integral House creates a place for architecture, music, and performance located at the threshold between Toronto’s urban fabric and its extensive natural ravine system. In the project’s program brief, our client clearly articulated his dual passion for mathematics and music and his interest in curvilinear shapes resulting in spatially complex volumes.

Viewed from its residential neighborhood, one reads a two story building with a grounded wood base sitting below a translucent gently shaped etched glass skin. The wooden base dissolves into oak clad fins echoing the undulating contour lines of the river valley and the winding pathways of the native forest of oaks, beaches, and maples. The main concert hall/performance space is located a full floor below your entry level and becomes intertwined with the verdant ravine landscape.

The project integrates many sustainable features into the site and building. A field of vertical geothermal pipes supplies heating and cooling for the entire project including the main concert hall/performance space for 150 – 200 people. A lush green roof is centrally located and a visual feature from many parts of the project. The vertical wooden fins provide sun shading from the exterior as well as contributing to the acoustical performance of the concert hall/performance space. Materials have been carefully selected for their aesthetic contribution as well as their enduring qualities based on life cycle costing calculations.

Additional Credit

Acoustical: Swallow Consultants
Engineer: Blackwell Bowick Partnership; DT Prohaska Engineering Dynamic Designs and Engineering Inc.;
          Toews Engineering
Fountain Consultant: Waterarchitecture Inc.
General Contractor: Eisner Murray Custom Builders
Interior Design: Decisive Moment
Landscape Architect: NAK Design Group
Lighting Design: Suzanne Powadiuk Design Inc.

Photo Credit

© Ed Burtynsky
© James Dow
© Bob Gundu

The Integral House

Jury Comments

The relationship of the home to both its musical program and its surrounding environment was superbly articulated.

The louvered vertical fins modulate the light and views to the exterior surroundings as well as correlate to music theory rooted in strong rhythm and syncopation. The fins added both measure and cadence to the overall movement.

The sensitivity, appropriate application, craft, and execution of detail were well executed.

2012 Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture Jury

  • Elizabeth Corbin Murphy, FAIA, Chair
  • CMB Architects
  • Akron
  • Robert Allen, Jr., AIA
  • Metalhouse
  • Norwalk, Connecticut
  • Mark Jensen, AIA
  • Jensen Architects
  • San Francisco
  • David Lenox, AIA
  • University Architect/Dir. Campus Planning
  • Stanford University
  • Palo Alto, California
  • Erick S. Ragni, AIA
  • MaRS Architects
  • Houston

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