A Cyclist and Architect Designs His Own House

Before and after the Becel Ride For the Heart, I was invited to the new home of an avid cyclist/architect and a baker in what might be called a transitional part of Toronto. From the outside one sees little more than a brick box inside a high fence; from the inside it is a very different story.

his hobby is building bikes and racing them, and the basement is pretty much devoted to them, so of course there will be a nice shop.

and near the door is a storage area, so he can decide which bike to ride the way the rest of us would decide what shoes to wear.

and since they get dirty, there is a shower designed specifically for washing bikes.

upstairs, it is a very different house, wide open and bright with lots of natural ventilation and rollout awnings to keep out the sun (there are radiant floors for heating and no air conditioning)

in all this fine architecture, the coffee table is made from half of the architect's childhood ping pong table on cardboard boxes. The architect says that people keep asking when he is going to get a real coffee table but he says "it is hard finding something that big."

inside and out, there are these boxes, used for sitting, as end tables, all kinds of different uses. I was told that the architect had a few fifty year old Pepsi cases that he used in a lot of different ways, and he had a lot of wood left over from the fence, so he knocked together two dozen of them.

They work rather well, acting as the seating in the backyard.

The house is on a corner lot, and is completely surrounded by the high fence; I had trouble finding the front door. But the fence offers a lot of privacy; A policewoman on a very big horse dropped by to look in and ask about a lost puppy wandering the streets, and caused quite a stir.

Back inside,the stair to the second floor is aluminum plate and about as minimalist as you can get.

The kitchen is designed for entertaining, with a big island;

capable of handling a big crowd.

Nothing is forgotten; even the cat gets a ramp and an entrance. It is not a big house, barely two bedrooms, but everything is open, airy, minimalist and bright. Every surface is hard wearing (floors are polished concrete) and long-lasting. Not bad, for a bike shop with a house on top.

Tags: Architects | Architecture | Bike-Friendly World | Bikes | Biking | Buildings | Urban Life

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