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Serene yet outrageous is the presence of Albers House in a typical residential street of Scarborough, Ontario. In its paradoxical behaviour, it both adapts to and resists against the existing conditions, performing very restricted yet radical transformation on the existing space and the neighbourhood.


Designer: Atelier RZLBD

Albers House is a renovation-addition project, in which the existing bungalow is fully renovated in the inside and a new second floor is added on top. Purging the existing house (i.e. removing any ancillary structures to the house) into its original shape, the genesis of the design process was the square footprint and the existing, offcentered interior staircase to maintain. Inspired by the square—and Homage to the Square by Josef Albers, artistically—and complying with the zoning by-laws which allowed for a larger floor area for the second-floor addition, the rational form for the new house was a stack of offset square volumes, radiating from the central shaft containing the staircase, the void, and the large square skylight.