Solarium Connects 3 Separate Elements Under a Polycarbonate Roof

This property is set in downtown Calgary, in the midst of the inner-city community of Albert Park. The property is a mid-century bungalow, and its renovation was a bit of an experiment into improved residential design for the architecture firm, Studio North.

Dubbed Home Away, the house makes use of a number of space-saving strategies. These strategies were employed by the designers in an attempt to accommodate the client’s lifestyle, providing not only for them, but also for their friends, family and colleagues.

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Project Details
Architects Studio North
Location Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Area 2,100-square-feet
Year 2015
Photos Studio North

The basement, ground floor and garage were all upgraded. Each individual element is viewed as being a discrete dwelling. Each of the “dwellings” are connected to one another through a shared greenhouse and courtyard.

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The solarium (greenhouse) is a new addition to the property. It acts as a four-season greenhouse and creates a space that attempts to reduce the barrier between the internal and external. It also bridges the main home, basement and garage, providing shelter between the three during the harsh Canadian winters.

The greenhouse is the star of this renovation. It’s set up with a terraced deck, garden planters and a variety of seating that allows the owners to use it as a space for entertaining guests and relaxing on.

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All plants and greenery have been introduced with the help of local permaculturalists, with the intent of creating a low-maintenance garden (in keeping with the owners busy schedule).

The diagonally braced lattice structure, designed to mimic a network of branches, creates a geometric dappling of shadows. The space is centered around a fireplace built into the entryway of the solarium, creating a small entry “hut” of charred cedar, following the Japanese technique of Shou Sugi Ban. – Studio North

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Photos © Studio North

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