North Toronto Residence

Akb Architects, Toronto

Photography by Shai Gil

An infinity pool is a swimming pool where the water flows over one or more edges, producing a visual effect of water with no boundary. Is there a term for the analogous window? In their North Toronto Residence, Akb Architects (a Best of Canada Awards-winning firm formerly known as Atelier Kastelic Buffey) have fun with the concept. In the dining room, sunken living room, media room and bathroom, windows continue above the (dropped) ceiling so that the view out is a full bleed, to use printing parlance when a photo goes beyond the edge of where the page will be trimmed. It’s a familiar-enough approach in prestige office buildings, but innovative in residences. On the upper storey, a skylit atrium of multi-faceted ceiling and wall planes sends light down the central stair. Hand-made brick tile on the upper floor exterior frames punched windows. Their contrast with the vast glazed expanses below expresses the difference between the intimate, domestic functions of the upper, bedroom floor and the more extrovert uses of the ground floor.