The Mount Pleasant House is located in Toronto, Canada, and it was completed in 2014 by Roundabout Studio for a music enthusiast. The building was previously used as a local fixture and flower bulb distributor named Cruickshank’s, but as the establishment went out of business in 2001, it was purchased by several owners before coming into the hands of its current inhabitant, who wanted to make sure that its renovation would be focused on lively, spacious living areas and entertainment. Mount Pleasant flaunts 5,480 square feet of living space.
The primary living areas are focused around an interior courtyard that receives plenty of natural illumination via skylights. The social spaces comprise an open plan dining room, kitchen and living room as well as a performance area. The house retains a link to its former self through a Corten steel light feature placed above the former cold storage room. The light penetrating a series of perforations reveals the shape of large tulips that honor Cruikshank's reputation for retailing high quality tulip bulbs.
From the architect:
For more than half a century this site was home to Cruickshank's, a neighbourhood fixture and much-loved flower bulb distributor. Sadly, Cruickshank's closed in 2001 and vacated the building. A few owners later, a local music enthusiast purchased it, seeing it as an opportunity to revive the site, creating an exciting house with a meaningful presence on the street. In 2012 he commissioned Roundabout Studio to convert the two connected yet disparate buildings into a single cohesive new home with a focus on music and entertainment.
Located directly on a busy Toronto thoroughfare, the house provides shelter from the street, with only a few, carefully placed windows. A long hallway leads to the protected interior foyer, where the home opens up to the sky with a quiet, light-filled interior that belies the building's location. The main spaces are organized around an interior courtyard and a series of large-scale skylights that help to stream sun into the depths of the building, while retaining a great amount of privacy.
To accommodate large-scale events, the public zone consists of an open plan kitchen and dining room, living room, interior courtyard and a double height performance area, located in the heart of the building. The individual spaces all look upon each other in multiple ways, offering the building a reflexive quality. Depending on how these spaces are utilized, the home feels equally suited for one person or one hundred.
Located above the former cold storage room, the interior courtyard contains a 16' tall Cor-ten steel light feature that references the building's former life as a bulb warehouse. The back-lit perforations reveal a group of super-sized tulips, a nod to Cruickshank's reputation for high-quality and interesting tulip bulbs. Facing the street, the perforated window screens are all small sections of the larger pattern, offering an abstract, fragmented glimpse of the feature inside.
Restored to prominence in the neighbourhood, the revitalizing overhaul ensures that the building will remain a proud part of the Toronto streetscape for many years to come.
Architects: Roundabout Studio
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Area: 5480.0 ft2
Project Year: 2014
Photographs: Andrew Snow, Courtesy of Roundabout Studio
Construction Management: Old Soul Carpentry Club, Roundabout Studio
Structural Engineer: Blackwell Structural Engineers
Interior Design: Roundabout Studio