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Small But Creative House by rzlbd

Small but creative house by rzlbd

Totem House is interesting piece of modern architecture designed by rzlbd studio. It is small modern house located in Toronto, Canada.


Creativity once again wins the battle over small space. This place is designed to be high-end living space with everything needed for a normal modern life. The biggest gem is definitely combination of bedroom and bathroom blended together to create and save some space at the same time.


"Robert and John are travelers. They collect sculptures by local artists and bring them home. They have a keen eye for modernism and minimal design and they don’t settle for ordinary. They love cooking and they avoid the unnecessary. In building their home, rzlbd respects their curiosity for style.

Interior of Small but creative house by rzlbd

A totem is sculptures within a sculpture. The totem in Totem House is a vertical gallery that exhibits John and Robert’s souvenirs from around the world. Each piece has been carefully measured and placed in a designated niche inside the Tower. An open wooden staircase connecting the three stories of the house gently circulates around the totem allowing one to observe the artworks from many different angles. During the day the skylight above the staircase naturally illuminates the totem, and at nighttime dedicated LED lights installed inside the niches light each piece. The totem naturally becomes the focal point in the house, as it is visible from every corner on all levels.

The evolution of design was a simple geometrical obsession with squares and grids. Starting with ten 10’ x 10’ squares carefully assembled on the linear site, logical modules were then dedicated to essential rooms in the house. The squares not only define the interior rooms, but they also formulate the boundaries of the backyard patio, the landscape, the parking area and the covered entry to the house. The totem sits on the central square dividing the living/dining area from the kitchen on the ground floor and the two bedrooms on the second floor.

Kitchen in Small but creative house by rzlbd

Robert and John’s kitchen could not be a typical urban kitchen, because they don’t have typical cooking habits. They passionately care for taste and they are minimal and chic. A gas burner cook-top with no hood on top was what they wanted to cook their food on. Except for the appliances everything is concealed behind the white cabinet doors that cover the wall from floor to ceiling.

The exterior of the house is a monolithic charcoal brick mass. Two small blocks on the north and south facade of this perfect mass have been extracted and cladded with wood. The small wooden corner creates an interesting deception where one imagines the wood to be the core material of the brick mass, like a bitten apple exposing the color of its flesh. The harmonious contrast of the charcoal brick and the wood with the immediate neighbors is tied to the surroundings with a humble design for the landscape allowing the neighbors to perfectly frame the house."
          -rzlbd

Small but creative house by rzlbd from the street

Stairs and fireplace in Small but creative house by rzlbd

Bedroom and bathroom in Small but creative house by rzlbd

Modern shower cabin in Small but creative house by rzlbd

Bathtub in Small but creative house by rzlbd

All photos © courtesy of rzlbd

How do you like this small modern house? Let us know in the comment section below.

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