A successful actor has the ability to transform into a convincing character in front of the audience to a point that the audience no longer sees the actor as a performer, but sees a character as a completely different being. Why am I writing about acting on what is clearly a post about real estate? I thought the analogy would be fitting for this century-old Victorian now rejuvenated and playing an new role.
The Birthplace of Beatrice Lillie known as Lady Peel, an actress and comedic performer, takes a responsible approach towards the neighbourhood and the adjacent buildings by focusing the transformation on the interior spaces and minimizing it on the exterior façade. The exterior alterations are limited to the careful enlargement of the windows and the exposure of the brick structure underneath the previous cladding.
This 60’ x 15’ house gives the architect, Reza Aliabadi, an opportunity to emphasize on linearity of spaces. By eliminating the unnecessary elements in the floor plans, the house is transformed into continuous open-concept spaces in which natural light flows through exaggerating the length of the rooms.
The long, broken, and dark Victorian interior spaces on the ground level are now contemporary white and airy continuous spaces with just enough exposed brick wall in the kitchen and dining room to remind us of the origins of the house. The enclosed long and linear staircase used to be both a physical and a visual barrier between the interior rooms on the ground level. Now it is transformed into a light, and open structure circulating around voids and creating a dynamic connection between not just the ground floor spaces, but also all the levels.
On the second floor the bedrooms and the home office are connected with a bridge overlooking the stairs and the dining room. A unique modern master bedroom with a freestanding tub and a direct access to a private deck is on the third floor, the attic, where the roof structure is exposed once again as a reminder of its past.
Things are not always as they seem, as this Victorian gem proves. Take a look at the before photos of the home. Hard to believe it’s the same property.