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Toronto’s Workshop Architecture Inc Unveils Unique Prefab Home in Ontario

The Unfinished House, Tiny, CA / Workshop Architecture

Toronto-based Workshop Architecture Inc has designed a unique prefabricated home in Ontario, showcasing an exposed structure and striking blue-painted elements within. Situated in Tiny, the Unfinished House boasts 1,400 square feet of space, featuring two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and versatile areas that can double up as guest accommodations.

The Unfinished House, Tiny, CA / Workshop Architecture

The unfinished aesthetic of the interior is a deliberate choice, driven by a commitment to cost-effectiveness and sustainability. Workshop Architecture Inc explains, “The raw and unvarnished look of the house reflects our design philosophy of material reduction and budget-consciousness.”

The Unfinished House, Tiny, CA / Workshop Architecture

The residence can comfortably accommodate two couples, with one pair having their own private in-law suite complete with a separate entrance, bathroom, and kitchenette that can be closed off by a cobalt blue sliding door. Additionally, a screened-in porch and mezzanine offer the flexibility to transform into extra sleeping quarters for visiting friends and family.

The Unfinished House, Tiny, CA / Workshop Architecture

The main entrance leads to a cozy mudroom, flanked by the primary bedroom, a bathroom, and a laundry room. Two staircases encircling the area guide you down to the main living space and up to the mezzanine level. The living area is thoughtfully laid out, with a light blue kitchen blending seamlessly into one wall, while the living room sits opposite, leading out to the porch. The sliding door opens up to the in-law suite’s kitchenette and bathroom, adorned with white and blue tiles, matching cabinetry, and grout.

The Unfinished House, Tiny, CA / Workshop Architecture

Upstairs, the mezzanine hosts a home office and den that can also serve as additional sleeping quarters, with utilities cleverly concealed along the back wall. To enhance light and airflow, Webnet wire rope is utilized as a railing or protective barrier throughout the space.

The Unfinished House, Tiny, CA / Workshop Architecture

The design of the house was influenced by the vernacular architecture of rural Ontario, particularly nautical references. Workshop Architecture, the studio behind the project, aimed to reduce the house’s greenhouse gas use by 90 percent. This was achieved through the use of glued-laminated timber walls that were prefabricated off-site and insulation placed outboard, opposite the vapour barrier.

The Unfinished House, Tiny, CA / Workshop Architecture

As a result, the interior wall structure did not require interior cladding, allowing the douglas fir plywood and pine wood framing to be left exposed for visual interest and small storage shelves. The triple-glazed pine and aluminium-clad windows were deeply set into the walls to create sills that could serve as seating, desks, and counters.

The Unfinished House, Tiny, CA / Workshop Architecture

The strategic window placement not only provided cross ventilation but also ensured privacy from neighboring houses. Additionally, the studio minimized the use of concrete by opting for a shallow foundation and concrete slab, which were left exposed on the interior. The house is equipped with a heat pump, LED lights, and an energy recovery ventilator for moisture management and minimal electricity consumption, with no gas connection.

The Unfinished House, Tiny, CA / Workshop Architecture

Solar power infrastructure was integrated into the house to provide hot water and electricity for future expansion, pending the owner’s financial capacity. Additionally, ceiling fans were placed in the bedrooms, living room, and porch to circulate warm air downwards during winter and reduce heat and humidity in the summer months.

Image courtesy of Scott Norsworthy