Part 2 – Malvern House by Nicholas Day

During the holidays Slow Home will be re-running archived content,  we will return in 2010 with new episodes.

  • John

    Did anybody else notice that two of the back windows in the master suite are really doors that open into thin air? The plan doesn’t show it, but the pictures clearly do. I doubt a balcony was ever part of the design, so what are the doors for?

  • Deborah McP

    Ooops. Correction John. What you’d been calling a skylight is in fact a lift, as per comments left yesterday and confirmed by the floorplans.

    What I’d like to comment on is the brilliance of capturing a view of that magnificent, tall tree from the front entrance: living sculpture!

  • Cat

    Looking up from the pool, you can see that the master has doors on both ends. Perhaps they were meant to be juliet balconies, and do not have the railing installed yet?

    The house is big, open, light and beautiful. I wonder if it was built for somebody and the deal fell through, or if it was built on spec?

  • Brad W

    The house looks like someone’s personal condo building. The interiors are nice, particularly, the kitchen/family room and the master bedroom/bathroom (excluding aforementioned the french doors) but are largely without character or drama.

    Someone sarcastically commented on another site that the architect must have spent a whole day drawing this one up and I would have to agree. Builder modern with some upgraded finishes.

  • Paul C

    I agree whole heartedly with respect to “additional” glazing. Even though there may not be something worth looking at, permitting more light to infiltrate a space has a great deal of benefit.

  • James Scott

    Mentioned often in the past regarding the transition between indoor and outdoor spaces is that it a two way street. So it may not be so much a need to see trees or a pool or other view from inside the house, it may be set up to draw those outdoors in.

    i reflect on sitting at outdoor cafes that my attention is quite often drawn into the restaurant and the spaces and people indoors, not the streetscape.

  • Terri

    Regarding the doors in either end of the master suite…perhaps these are fire escapes. They would also provide ventilation; however, one wonders how to guarantee they are locked to prevent accidental falls.

    The stark interior certainly enhances any greenery seen through all those floor to ceiling windows. The house does not look huge from either end, and perhaps even the side view may be deceptive with the three (visible) levels and the long walls broken up by so much glazing.

  • John Brown

    Thanks for the correction. I didn’t realize it was a lift when I recorded the segment on Friday.

  • Belle, Toronto

    Spectacular house on a rather uninspired lot. It should be on a clifftop looking at the ocean. The other houses on the street look quite traditional from the glipses through the windows and if so, I wonder how it blends into the streetscape.

    A house near to me had a renovation, rather than a rebuild, to house a double garage in what was the basement. The original garage became the entry and over the garage was a secluded brick balcony from the dining room. A modest bungalow on a wide lot became a very attractive design which although it was upgraded considerably did not stand out as being out of character with the other houses on the street.

  • Doug Roberts

    One of the things I really like about this house is that it disguises its massive size extremely well. It appears to be situated on a relatively standard 50′/15.2m wide lot with a front facade that is clean, simple, modern and very striking, yet also very modest. Making the front section, which is also the tallest part of the house, narrower than the rest of the house really helps to minimize the “mass” of the house and prevent it from overpowering and overshadowing the neighbouring properties.

    The rear facade is equally stunning. My guess regarding the frosted double doors at either end of the master bedroom that appear to lead nowhere is that they are indeed juliet balconies with virtually invisible clear glass panels across the bottom half of the openings to act as railings. Having said that, I am not sure why they would bother to put outside door handles on the doors.

    Having a large living/dining room right next to, and open to, a large family room with its own eating area does seem like overkill. As nice as the living/dining room is with that wall of glass doors facing the sideyard, the dining room is too far from the kitchen and I can’t imagine choosing to sit in the living room instead of in the family room with its fireplace and view of the pool and backyard.

    It would be interesting to take this floorplan and cut it down to a more manageable size by taking a section out of the middle, eliminating a parking stall or two in the basement, the living room on the main floor, and a middle bedroom and part of that massive master bathroom on the second floor.

    One thing that really intrigues me about this property is that the basement level is wider than the main and second levels, and appears to have been built right out to the property line on the driveway side of the house. This allows the driveway to run right next to the property line and creates additional space for turning into and backing out of the basement parking spaces. Would this have required a relaxation of the minimum sideyard setback, or do sideyard setbacks only apply to the portion of the house that is above grade? Could the same thing be done on a 50′/15.2m lot in a typical North American city?