Toronto architect Paul Raff's contemporary sun-lit home

As cities’ housing stocks age, what type of architecture will replace homes that just don’t merit a major renovation to make them efficient and comfortable by today’s standards? With its flat-pack geometry and sleek finishes, this midtown Toronto house offers one unconventional answer. A coherent, cost-effective example of contemporary urban housing, it demonstrates the latest building technologies and modern lines, while expressing enough familiar qualities to fit its traditional community.

Built on a 25-foot-wide lot in a gable-roofed, red-brick neighbourhood, the house replaces a century-old home that was dark and leaky beyond what the new owners considered reasonable repair. Incorporating standardized construction methods and materials, it offers some fresh interpretations on everyday elements like windows, roofs and porches, which is how it got its name, Counterpoint House. Its architect, Paul Raff, likes to name his projects. “Counterpoint” is a musical term, but it also refers to interesting contrasts and offbeat, but effective, combinations.