On a narrow lot in the vibrant, historic North End of Halifax, this project combines the primary residence of Omar Gandhi, his partner, and his son, above a ground-floor office that currently serves as a community studio with a focus on local projects including housing for the homeless and safe public amenities.
Predominantly inward-looking with few visible windows to the street or the rear of the property, the building’s solid massing comprises a two-storey, eastern white cedar-clad volume above a buff-coloured brick podium. Full-height glazing in the kitchen on the second floor and the master bedroom on the third floor are behind a screen or ‘veil’ of western red cedar.
The entrance for both the office and the house is located at the rear of the property through a brick courtyard and down a full-width brick stairwell. Carved into the end of the volume is a two-storey lightwell that researches the full height of the house. The lightwell shape was determined by intensive lighting studies and parametric modelling to ensure optimal natural lighting conditions.
With the first floor dedicated to office use, the second floor, clad entirely in white oak panelling, houses the kitchen, dining and living room spaces. The third floor comprises two bedrooms, which look down to the living room lightwell through an opening above a desk. Also on this level are two contrasting monochrome bathrooms featuring full-length skylights.
Up an additional flight of stairs is the roof space, which features a small sitting area and garden at the street side of the house.