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A Psychology Office in The Annex Gets the Modern Treatment

Prince Arthur Project, Studio No. 33

With an emphasis on architecture and lighting, Studio No. 33 revives a 19th-century build by honouring its historic elements

By Joseph Cicerone
Photography by Lauren Miller

After searching extensively for a space to house the psychology practice of their dreams, Dr. Zoë Laksman and Dr. Faye Doell landed on a Prince Arthur Avenue heritage building in The Annex. Built in 1889, the home had all the elegant characteristics of a French Victorian, but lacked the warmth and openness essential to an inviting therapeutic setting. The duo enlisted Chloe Goldberg, principal designer of Studio No. 33, to breathe new life into the space. The result is a dynamic three-storey office where modern design elements work in tandem with the home’s historic features.

Living Room design
Vase, chair Elte; coffee table, Montana Labelle Lifestyle.

“A great deal of attention was spent on the small details,” says Laksman, who chose to work with Goldberg for her keen spacial awareness and experience with large commercial spaces. Along with a main floor waiting area, reception and kitchenette, 11 discreet offices were carved out for private sessions. Mindful of functionality, the furniture layout of each office was intentionally curated to promote organic patient-therapist dialogue.

Prince Arthur
The black and white combo is apparent throughout the Prince Arthur office space and nods to the project’s inspiration of classic French style.

Inherited from her studies in art history, Goldberg understood the importance of designing with care and respect for the building’s architectural details. “I wanted to emphasize the original staircase design and arch,” she says. “They’re the two distinct features you first see when entering the building.” To achieve this, panelled columns were added to complement and frame the original arch. The wooden staircase was painted white and dressed with a black runner for a high-contrast look—a technique used consciously throughout the space to draw your eye to certain features.

Prince Arthur Project
A restored marble fireplace adds depth to Dr. Laksman’s office on the first floor of the Prince Arthur building. Stone, Stone Tile; flooring, Dominion Rug; ceiling light fixture, Petite Friture.

New baseboards and crown moulding were added to enhance architectural accents and texturize the warm, neutral colour palette. To further modernize the space, dark flooring was replaced with bleached oak and sculptural light fixtures were used to contrast the heritage elements typical for a Prince Arthur Avenue home.

Prince Arthur Project
Chair, lamp, CB2; art, Celadon; side table, West Elm.

Once a large open-concept space, the third floor now houses four discrete offices with tons of light from skylights and large windows. In one of those offices, built-in shelving highlights the Prince Arthur home’s gable roof—creating a streamlined effect where decorative elements don’t get in the way or make the space feel cluttered.

Prince Arthur Project
The pitched ceiling and window were original to the building and enhanced by adding custom shelving to follow the ceiling slope. Chairs, Mkt.

“Down to the wall art and furniture upholstery, every design choice was made to optimize the space for the therapeutic work necessary to help our clients build their resilience and work through complex mental health challenges,” says Doell. “It was incredibly important that our clients and psychologists feel at ease upon entering the building and the offices.”

Studio No. 33
Left: Dr. Zoë Laksman, Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Director. Right: Chloe Goldberg, Principal Designer at Studio No. 33 Inc.

If there’s one thing Goldberg and her clients have in common, it’s a practice driven by intention. From the small details to larger restoration features, the new home of Laksman Doell Psychology is one that honours the old and welcomes the new with timeless sophistication. STUDIONO33.COM

Categories: Spaces

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