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Shaft House


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Project Name

Shaft House

Project Status


Year Completed



1,400 sq. feet

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Project Description

The Shaft House is an unexpected and exciting spatial experience that survives the limits of our ordinary living spaces. The two and a half storey detached house reevaluates functional arrangements within a narrow building while creating bright and airy spaces. Affordability is a value that the building successfully owns by integrating well thought low-cost strategies in the design process; from purchasing a modest lot of about 20 feet wide to choosing sustainable and cost efficient materials. Aluminum siding, untreated wood and recyclable rusted steel for the exterior of the house not only help reduce the costs of the design but t also tried to make a statement on organic behaviors of buildings by changing color while aging along with the house.

The Shaft House generates spaces without walls. Circulation and services surround a void of light that is called “The Shaft”. Floors on either side overlook each other allowing light and sight to travel deep inside the house. The staircase circulates around the central shaft and cause rooms to emerge in space by changing levels. The levels have been shifted in section resulting in a canopy facing the street, and a south facing deck on the rooftop.

While the construction cost of the shaft house is almost as affordable as a ready-made design set of standard housings in Toronto, it is yet a surprise for the neighborhood and perhaps for many other neighborhoods in the city. But atelier rzlbd’s aspiration towards changing the face of Toronto by creating innovative and affordable designs for single family houses, is a goal that Shaft House successfully represents.

Design Architect: Reza Aliabadi [rzlbd]

Design Team: Reza Aliabadi & Ali Malekzadeh

Construction: Ali Malekzadeh

Architectural Photography: borXu Design

Building Type: Single family house

Location: Toronto

Basics: Three story wood structure

Lot: 20'X100'

Living Area: 1400 sqft

Design: 2009-2010

Completion: Summer 2010
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