outside in house toronto

This Toronto house just won a major international award for its design

Maybe the owners couldn't agree on an exterior, or maybe it was just a bold design statement, but this Toronto home has two exteriors. Except it doesn't, really.

Located near the Scarborough Bluffs, the Out(side)In House was designed by Toronto-based Atelier RZLBD from 2017 to 2018 and wrapped up construction this year.

outside in house torontoThe 3,120 square foot, two-storey home welcomes with an exterior described by the architects as "broken indentedly at its center into two volumes, which are pulled apart and shuffled so that the breakages face the outside and the exterior walls face the central void."

But it isn't that exterior that defines the home. No, it's actually the home's quirky interiors — designed to look like the outside of a house — that set this house apart from others in the area.

outside in house torontoFor the fifth consecutive year, the architecture firm is among the winners of the International Architecture MasterPrize, this time, their Out(side)In House, awarded in the residential "house interior" category.

The house's standout space, a double-height atrium, is beautifully lit from above, natural lighting illuminating its brick and tile finishes.

outside in house toronto

A fireplace at the south end of the house features a recessed area with seating.

outside in house toronto

To the north, a skylight extends the full height of the house, framing a raised planter box capable of adding a shot of green to the space.

outside in house toronto

This skylight also allows sunlight to penetrate three levels down into the basement, where a fancy wine cellar and bar can be found.

outside in house toronto

The second floor of the house is traversed by a bridge spanning the atrium, which connects to another truly unique space.

outside in house toronto

A space referred to as "the cocoon" is an odd little room adjacent to the master bedroom.

Completely covered in fabric with nothing distinguishing walls, floors' and ceilings besides a small skylight, the cocoon’s confined area, visual weirdness, and sound absorption properties combine for a surreal experience.

outside in house toronto

Just how much does this unconventional home cost? The truth is, we don't know. The unnamed owners have withheld the price and the precise location of this house, apparently not looking to sell or draw any attention.

Photos by

Borzu Talaie


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