OG Home & Studio / Omar Gandhi Architect
A description of the text provided by the architect. Located in a small, abandoned parcel in the vibrant and historic North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Decades ago, the adjacent property was the site of a nearby African Nova Scotia hairdresser. The project was designed to sit on the east coast home of the architectural studio and become the main residence of his partner Omar Gandhi and his son. However, in the process of building, the studio has grown to a level where it can no longer fit in a reasonable amount of space. The office on the ground floor is now a dedicated community studio, focusing on community projects at the northern end of Halifax, such as homeless and safe public housing.
The main entrances to both the studio and the house are at the back of the property, through a brick courtyard and down a full-width brick staircase. A large, raw, steel-covered, pill-shaped closet marks the entrance and provides privacy to the studio space. At the top of the first staircase is a brick and wood-lined powder room secured by a 9-foot-high raw steel pivot door. A custom sink carved from a block of white oak hangs from the wall.
The second floor, entirely covered with white oak siding, has kitchen, dining and living room spaces. At the end of the volume is a double-decker lightwell that has reached the height of the house. Using intensive lighting research and parametric modeling, we found the shape of the lightwell and ensured optimal natural light conditions throughout the length of the living space. A long white bar of woodwork connects the floor length – with all storage, kitchen equipment, wood storage, and a wood fireplace.
The White Oak Kitchen Island and Dining Tables span more than 30 feet across both the kitchen and dining spaces and have double curved openings for easy flow through the space. The third floor consists of two bedrooms, including Omar’s son’s bedroom, which overlooks Lightwell in the living room through an opening above the desk. Two contrasting monochrome bathrooms are on the same floor, both featuring full-length skylights, revealing the extreme weather conditions and dramatic skies of coastal cities.
Climbing the last staircase, you will find a roof space with a small sitting area and garden on the street side of the house. The seams of the white oak panels reveal a wood-lined stairwell and railings with organic custom-designed bronze brackets. The formal trout consists of a double-decker eastern white cedar-covered volume above a buff-colored brick cradle. The house is mostly inward, with few windows overlooking the streets and the back of the building.
The upper wooden volume, made up of living equipment, has full-height glass hidden behind a veil of red cedar in the west, both in the kitchen on the second floor and in the master bedroom on the third floor. The veil (or screen) provides privacy to both Gandhi and his family, and those on the sidewalk below. In the evening, the screen monitor comes alive with the soft glow of warm light. Behind the wood-covered volume is a sitting-high wall-mounted slot window with a pleasing view of the brick courtyard and the (future) walls of the ivy climb.
The brick podium consists of a buff, one of the two natural clay brick shades used in the area. It is primarily used for regular building stock, including apartments at the northern end. Common bonds were used to recognize the traditional patterns and textures used in the city’s brick architecture since a century ago. The gentle, rounded corners at the intersection of the driveway and the sidewalk draw visitors and homeowners behind the house.
The gentle curves are repeated in various ways, both inside and outside the house. The plan is for the building to consist of a main building / studio and a rear hut, connected by thick brick and sandstone-covered walls. Custom bronze brick lights are scattered in the main sections of the façade and are used for night lighting, which fades into the brick texture during the day. By the end of construction, the cedar-covered façade has already lost much of its vibrancy and gently fades to resemble much of the texture of the weathered wood in the neighborhood, while maintaining much of its curiosity. Was there.