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architecture

Ramp House

A house for two inhabitants
TYPE
Academic Project (Residential)
location
Toronto, ON
TOOLS
rhino 6
PHOTOSHOP CC
illustrator CC
COMPLETED
December 2020
OVERVIEW

This home belongs to an artist in need of northern glazing, and a wheelchair-bound city councillor. The building aims to amplify the inherent beauty of domestic care, while also enabling a sense of co-independence. By emphasizing the ramp, not as an afterthought, but as an empowering architectural gesture, it engenders a shared space irrestrictive of program limitations.

Surrounding the ramp structure are three key spaces; a public living room to the north, a private bedroom towards the south, and a cantilevering specialized space that rests on top. Channel glass dominates the ramp space as a means of provoking a semi-private experience and offering diffused natural lighting throughout the building.

Preface

ARC361: Architecture Studio III

This undergraduate design studio course focused on the conceptualization of the domestic experience at the scale of the single-family home and below. This project follows the site study and formulation of the collaborative digital site model. Students selected from a set of two inhabitants to design a home for, each with their unique set of priorities and needs.

Concept

The ramp structure acted as the defining element of the building that would determine its other spatial organizations. The building's form slowly grew within the boundaries of the site as spaces were conceptualized to meet the demands of the inhabitants. Knitting these spaces together was a channel glass enclosure. An interior courtyard acted as a filter between the public and private spaces.

Formal Logic Diagram
Site Plan

Plans

As shown in the plans below, the only method of vertical circulation throughout the building was through the use of ramps. The spatial demands that come from the use of ramps enabled for a generous openness in the building that stretches the north-south axis of the site.

Ground Floor Plan
Second Floor Plan

Elevations

The artist's studio dramatically cantilevers off the western side of the building, giving it a sense of monumentality, as well as opening the space below for driveway parking. The artist, as a person of visionary, also possesses a vista looking north on Rathnelly Ave.

North Elevation
West Elevation

Section Perspectives

The spatial demands of the central ramp circulation structure enables the space to double as a gallery hall to showcase the artist's works. This allows the ramp to be more of simply a circulatory accessibility use; to become the building's X-factor. While the first floor is reserved for everyday domestic uses, the cantilevered second floor is reserved for the inhabitant's specialized spaces, both with northern views of the neighbourhood, and southern views towards the city.

Looking East (1)
Looking East (2)
Looking North