The client’s Spartan lifestyle is reflected throughout. The house makes use of real materials that require minimal maintenance.
In Toronto’s east end, a quaintly narrow road trundles its way north from Queen St. Like its neighbouring homes, Mini Craven is parked on a skinny lot, just fourteen feet wide. When it was built, it was one of the first modern houses to grace the area.
Endearing but deteriorating houses abounded. Its presence encouraged more to realize the benefits of loft-style living outside of a high-rise. The intelligent use of space we could coax from its 566 sqft is amazing.
“If I add a book to my bookcase, I remove one".
The house that previously occupied the lot was a drug lab. It was subsequently condemned and demolished. Nonetheless, our client was drawn to the vacant lot. He felt at home in the quirky, diverse neighbourhood and saw the potential.
Windows are oriented to coordinate desires for view, natural ventilation and passive solar gain in the winter.
It’s a very small footprint, yet the home feels open and spacious. Convertible & built-in furniture plays a crucial role in enabling this.
The floors are poured concrete, the walls are concrete block or white painted drywall. A decision not to include baseboards keeps the transition between floor and wall clean and draws the eye up, creating greater visual space.
Inexpensive and recycled materials were sourced from stage sets or salvaged from demolished houses. These incisive efforts helped to mitigate costs substantially.
Project Fun Facts
Construction Manager: Morris Ortolan
Photographer: James C. Lee