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Architect Tania Bortolotto dispenses with 90-degree thinking in new King City home

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Home by architect Tania Bortolotto, near King City, Ont. The homeowners, George and Rebecca (he’s a gynecologist, she’s a nurse and both asked that their surnames not be used), say the whole thing started back in 2007 as ‘a kitchen renovation’ in what was, then, a Tudor on a one hectare lot just beyond King City.

Tom Arban

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Architect Tania Bortolotto’s design displays an exterior with long, low corners on a thickly shingled, ship-like structure, while the interior is a stunning composition of curves that swoop, soar, intersect, cradle and caress. And where corners do occur, they’re usually made of glass, camouflaged in gorgeous materials, or they rebelliously refuse to meet at 90 degrees.

Shai Gil

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The home has an EnerGuide rating of 80, which is “highly energy efficient,” Ms. Bortolotto says. Halsall Engineering’s Doug Webber, she adds, was instrumental in achieving this, as well as helping with the home’s radiant floors, passive solar/ventilation and geothermal system.

Tom Arban

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A detail shot of the unusual hanging tile roof system.

Tom Arban

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Further into the great room, the fireplace wall is wrapped in a rich coat of Venetian plaster that glistens from light provided by a cluster of made-in-Vancouver Bocci fixtures, and a long, built-in sideboard is a handy surface for hors d’oeuvres or art objects.

Tom Arban

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Even upon entry into a foyer under a low-ish ceiling – an old Frank Lloyd Wright trick of initial compression before blessed release – the eye travels up the floating stair to spy the enormous great room beyond. Here, a grand piano sits just under the point at which the ceiling decides to thumb its nose at convention and go for a roller-coaster ride, flinging itself upward to allow floor-to-ceiling windows to drink in views of the ravine.

Shai Gil

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Shai Gil

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The pod-like second floor contains bedrooms and bathrooms, hanging over the kitchen; the corridor alongside those bedrooms is shielded by a slanted wall. “There are a lot of intersecting planes that meet and create these spaces,” says Ms. Bortolotto, “so the contractors had a heck of a time.”

Shai Gil

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Directly below the great room, the floor curves downward to become a long work surface that recalls the shape of an old roll-top desk.

Shai Gil

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Shai Gil

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Rear facade.

Tom Arban

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