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The Globe and Mail

Steven Fong upgrades the Toronto Modern home

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Architect Steven Fong's update of the Toronto Modern style. The handsome pair of semi-detached dwellings each have different facades: one three-level semi has black brick, the other has light cedar slats. One streetside face is shorter and smaller than the other – though both, like good modernist buildings, sport rooflines that are dead flat – and each has a unique, attractively irregular configuration of windows.

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A sensuous design impulse translates into tubs that hover in the large bathrooms, and patterns of circulation between bed and bath that are uninterrupted by doors or partitions.

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The architect is especially proud of the steel-joist frame, which allows plumbing and electrical conduits to run through the skeleton of the house, thereby eliminating the need for bulkheads in the open-plan rooms.

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Heating is supplied by hot-water pipes embedded in the concrete floors and the hot water itself comes from a high-performance Viessmann boiler that is compact enough to fit into a broom closet.

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The window openings have been left relatively small – a nod, of course, to energy efficiency, but also a bid to create interiors that are more intimate and enclosed than those in modernism’s classic glass boxes.

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