Both outside and in, the Opposite House is at once familiar yet different, spectacular yet comfortable, private as well as public – presenting a study in subtly rendered juxtapositions. It emerges lightly from the ground, becoming part of the undisturbed landscape. The structure’s conceptual formation and the program are centred around the dynamic interplay of the opposites: the contrast between the north (servant) and the south (served), rendered in black/white, textured/smooth, closed/open, opaque/transparent, and shadow/light. The main hall of the Opposite House forms a central nave, a spine, organizing the programs along the sides, separating the opposites. The served and servant spaces are expressed on the exterior as the north side is wrapped in dark-black, textured brick and the south side is presented in glass and smooth white stucco. A curtain wall extends across the entire south face, offering a magnificent view of the patio and pool, as well as a wide grassy slope lined with mature trees verging down to meet the lake, allowing an abundance of sunlight in, while it’s protruding white frame is avoiding heat gain during the summer.
The Opposite House is a spacious live-work space for a young professional couple, designed with a possibility of a growing family in mind. Despite its massive size (146-feet long, as long as an Airbus A321) it feels quite human in scale, the result of its precise geometric parsing, something the architect refers to as “mathematical poetry.” Both interior and exterior executions relied on the architect’s finely tuned sense of human scale. Its “invisible geometry” dictates the spatial and structural organization, while giving the house a pleasant orderly look that strives to touch the viewer’s subconscious.
Design Architect: Atelier Reza Aliabadi (RZLBD)
Interior design: Julia Francisco
Structure: Egbert Engineering
Mechanical: McCallum Consulting
Septic: Gunnell Engineering
Construction Management: Caledon Build
Architectural Photography: Borzu Talaie
Location: Toronto, Scarborough, Cliffcrest area
Basics: One-storey steel & wood structure
Lot: 1.093 ha.
Living Area: 6000 sqft
Completion: Summer 2016