Gallery House

The transformation of a somber traditional interior into a joyful modern open environment was designed to be a vessel for the clients’ extensive art collection, as well as a family focused environment for their three children.

Built in the 1960’s, the existing house mimicked an Arts and Crafts vernacular with dark wood panelling and a labyrinth of rooms. The house was gutted, and walls relocated to create an open flow of space. Avid art collectors, the owners requested a flexible environment to showcase their growing collection. A new floating stair of oak treads on white painted steel links the ground and second floor. The kitchen/family room beyond features a palette of wide plank oak flooring, walnut millwork, leathered Calacatta marble and stainless steel.

The master bedroom ceiling was substantially raised to take advantage of the unused space in the attic above, and the end wall was opened up to create a wall of glass looking out to the garden. In the master bathroom, a variety of different materials and textures are used to create a rich composition – acid etched black mirror, black granite, textured black tile and ebony coloured wood - in response to the client`s request for an all black bathroom.

The exterior of the house was substantially retained with the exception of the Tudor style infill of stucco and wood within the dominant triangular gables. These were re-clad in a modern interpretation, using black stained wood panels divided randomly with strips of clear anodized aluminum.


Name withheld




11,170 sq.ft.


Completed, 2013


Virginia Macdonald