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The Coolest Treehouse

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Batay-Csorba delivers the element of surprise using familiar materials

When clients requested views to the Humber River, Batay-Csorba Architects imagined a Tetris-like treehouse. Jodi and Andrew Batay-Csorba, the duo behind the architecture and interior design firm, live and work in the area and have become the go-to for Baby Point neighbours in search of a dream home. Running with the playful treehouse theme, the winners of the Designlines 2021 Designer of the Year competition drew inspiration from constraint. Working with a pie-shaped lot at 65 by 20 feet, Batay-Csorba maximized vertical space via a three-storey volume behind the kitchen. At the top is a semi-enclosed balcony featuring a Japanese soaking tub and panoramic views of the river.

Treehouse Kitchen, Toronto Design

Terrazzo countertops, stacked tiling and alternating lights in white and grey continue a playful theme in the kitchen.

“Having a corner lot was a real advantage to accessing the light,” Andrew Batay-Csorba says. “This allowed for us to create connections to the exterior, both at the side and back of the house.” The first-floor kitchen spills out to a large outdoor staircase that houses the family’s herb garden, planted in large clay pots. Behind the kitchen, open-riser stairs lead to a small bridge above the island where their two elementary-school aged daughters can look down at the adults cooking below.

Stairwell

A dramatic stairwell creates a central atrium that acts as a ventilation chimney for the house and reflects the amber glow of natural light.

The open kitchen features terrazzo countertops by Marble Trend, horizontally stacked white tiles and minimal artificial lighting, as natural light fills the space from various window cut-outs. “We didn’t want to make a glass house,” Jodi Batay-Csorba says. “But rather a more monolithic home clad in old historical buff-yellow brick that speaks to the existing context.”

Interior Design

Vaulted ceilings panelled in Baltic birch create an expansive feeling within the house, despite its irregular lot size.

Across from the ravine, the 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom house took almost three years to conceptualize. “There was a lot of preliminary work taking extensive photos of the site and thinking about how to thoughtfully design every square inch,” Jodi Batay-Csorba says. Custom pieces including a built-in banquette in the dining room maintain a visual continuity with the wood panelling throughout the house.

Interior Design, Treehouse by Batay-Csorba

The principal bedroom has a second-storey nook that acts as a music room and office. Here, Batay-Csorba designed built-in cabinets for the principal bedroom that surround the bed for convenience and seamlessness of design.

The treehouse vibe really takes hold in the two-storey bedrooms; all three have vaulted ceilings and a secondary nook at the loft level. For the kids, the second-floor space, accessible by a small ladder, serves as a reading nook, while the adults keep theirs as a designated music room and office.

Batay-Csorba Hot Tub, Toronto Home

Angular roofs mirror each other inside and out. The balcony acts as a retreat for the whole family.

By maximizing vertical space, the two-level bedrooms enhance the home’s expansive feeling, explains Jodi Batay-Csorba. “Despite its compact size, it still feels voluminous indoors because of that vaulted ceiling.” The skylights above, sourced from VELUX are perfect for stargazing. BATAY-CSORBA.COM

Batay-Csorba Treehouse

Exterior of the treehouse-esque home by Batay-Csorba Architects shows off the upper balcony with Japanese soaking tub and panoramic views to the Humber River.

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