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Glimmer House Is a Beacon of Modern Design in Parkdale

Kilogram Studio, Architectural Transformation

A renovated Victorian by Kilogram Studio stands out for more than its expressive due

By Iris Benaroia
Photography by Scott Norsworthy

At 115 feet deep, Eva Pianezzola’s backyard in Parkdale is so big it can handle a game of soccer — in the loveliest setting. Mature trees offer shade in summer and in winter, when the branches are dusted in snow, a painterly panorama. There’s also a good measure of privacy, making it a coup in a city where houses often feel too close for comfort. “Connecting indoor with outdoor was a must in this renovation,” says Pianezzola. “I really wanted to take full advantage of the beautiful backyard and make sure to create views of the garden,” she says. The original detached 1,550-square-foot Victorian had only a small door to the backyard; a patio was MIA.

Parkdale Home Architectural Transformation
LEFT Architect Kfir Gluzberg of Kilogram Studio. January Chen and Leah Kim also worked on the design. Portrait by Arash Moallemi. RIGHT Kilogram worked with Desar Construction Studio on the addition clad in folded-rainscreen by Agway Metals. “Every time you choose red as a colour, it seems silly,” says Gluzberg. The tomato red isn’t as “cartoonish” when experienced as a whole. “When it’s monochromatic, it becomes a neutral colour.”

Pianezzola, an architect and urban designer, lives here with her partner, Mattia Gheda, a CTO, and their black Goldendoodle Lola. The closed-off situation just wouldn’t do. So, she enlisted her friend Kfir Gluzberg, principal architect at Kilogram Studio to collaborate on a large-scale architectural transformation. (The two met in architecture school at McGill University when Pianezzola was an exchange student from Venice School of Architecture.)

Parkdale Home Renovation
In the main living space, the baseboards were cleaned up and restored to honour the home’s heritage.

“The first conversation was about an office in the yard because this property is very long,” says Gluzberg. “That quickly turned into a third floor and then to a back addition and then its final form.”

Architectural Transformation, Toronto Design
The industrial kitchen island, used for meal prep, can easily be moved. Deep granite counters and a bold blue round out the highly efficient and eye-popping design.

Preserving the spirit of the Victorian architecture was essential in the renovation, while simultaneously modernizing it for today’s needs, says Gluzberg, who clipped on an airy addition to extend the house by 10 feet. Mammoth glass doors from Germany’s Döpfner Windows, including a sliding panel, one fixed panel and a narrow swing door, means the greenery from the yard visually spills into the interior; a set-up that’s perfect for these al fresco aficionados.

Modern Bedroom Design
Natural light pours into the home from all angles, a reminder as to why Kilogram Studio dubbed the home “Glimmer House.”

Stimulating hues — including red-trimmed windows on the exterior — pop up throughout the home. In the kitchen, glossy blue cabinets are a punchy foil to the aluminum tambour doors. Light green square tile, meanwhile, cloaks the bathroom off the foyer, while upstairs indigo tile envelops the bath in the addition making it feel like a noise-cancelling cave. A bright patch of green from the treetops gorgeously frames the window.

Homes in Parkdale
LEFT “On frigid winter days, it’s incredible to take a hot bath while looking at the falling snow — it almost feels like being in a Japanese onsen,” says owner Eva Pianezzola. RIGHT The mezzanine has been envisioned as a private cozy nook in the renovation to practice yoga or meditate. It can also be used as a small office.

“Indigo tile envelopes the bath, making it feel like a noise-cancelling cave”


Houses in Parkdale
LEFT Glass blocks are strategically integrated into the hallway’s design, enhancing transparency and style. RIGHT With a shower head installed next to the light fixture, a guest bathroom dressed in mosaic tile doubles as a wet room.

“Marking the entrance to the bedroom and bathroom, rippled glass blocks create caustic light, like the bottom of a pool,” says Gluzberg. The marine motif continues to the deep window wells, skylights and balcony rail off the couple’s bedroom (very ship-like), where a ladder that reaches a mezzanine hideout and the rooftop wouldn’t look out of place on a pool.

Architectural Transformation in Parkdale, Toronto
On a bright and sunny day, the home’s angular red rooftop entry makes a bold contrast to blue skies and surrounding greenery.

Because of the double height, and a considered feeling of compression then expansion, a sense of volume and breathing room pervades the architectural transformation. “You have the closet in the middle, you see the light from above it and it immediately expands the room,” says Pianezzola. “There’s a large skylight and the view to the garden, so you feel like you are in the treetops.” Nature, after all, was always the goal. KILOGRAMSTUDIO.CA

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