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The Globe and Mail

Fitting in: Modern Moore Park home makes nice with the neighbours

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The Moore Park, Toronto home designed by architect Drew Mandel. Mr. Mandel said he made an effort to talk to other area homeowners prior to construction. ‘They didn’t quite come with pitchforks,’ he says, but many wanted a chance to discuss the proposal. The end result inserts a visually light Modernist home into a streetscape of dark brick, gables, shutters and porches.

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Main floor, with a view through to the rear.

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Positioned on a concrete wall near the back of the house, the 'eyeball’, a hammered-brass light fixture inserted into a round opening by Unitfive Design, is a fun little detail that gives the home an extra layer of 'interest and personality,’ says Mr. Mandel. ‘Houses at this level of customization are an assembly of 10,000 decisions,’ he says, so when a person is offered ‘little moments that you can control, when you can doodle as you’re on the phone talking about HVAC,’ he laughs, things become enjoyable again.

Ben Rahn/A-Frame

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The light well. The home’s staircases are enclosed rather than put on display as sculptures behind thick glass.

Ben Rahn/A-Frame

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A view of the house from the rear.

Ben Rahn/A-Frame

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The visual lightness of the exterior carries through inside the home. From the foyer, one can look right to the massive dining table, straight ahead to the central kitchen.

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Past the kitchen’s floating vent hood, one can plop onto the family room sofa to enjoy a vista of trees. Opposite the fireplace, sliding glass doors open to the light well.

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View from the second floor.

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On the top floor, the angled ceiling (resulting from the required gable) creates fun triangle shapes, which add to the many rectangles and circles found elsewhere: 'We used pure forms as the language of this house,' says Mr. Mandel.

Ben Rahn/A-Frame

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On the second floor, a long bite has been taken out of the floor to connect it to the ground level and the light well. Here, a few rooms have been left as “flexible space” so the family can grow.

Ben Rahn/A-Frame

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