Toronto Home, Contemporary Ontario Property, New Canadian Residence

Tetris House, Toronto

New Residence in Ontario, Canada – design by Atelier Reza Aliabadi > rzlbd

1 Oct 2013

Tetris House

Design: Atelier Reza Aliabadi > rzlbd

New Residence in Toronto

Tetris House - Toronto Residence


We have all played the game “Tetris” at least once in our lives. We were mesmerized by the magic of geometry and rewarded by our efficiency. For rzlbd Tetris is not just a game of block arrangement and fast performance, but it is a quest of effective design. If a designer of space was as structured as Tetris blocks, there would be virtually zero wasted space within a building.

When a client demanded a program that seemed impossible to fit in a 40’ by 110’ lot, specially if one tries to respect a tight zoning for an infill project in a city like Toronto, rzlbd decided to practice the challenges of “no leftover space” with a simple rule in mind: every inch is a usable inch.

New House in Toronto New Residence in Toronto New Residence in Toronto
photos : borXu Design

The house is 3000 square feet, three-story structure that has the same program as a 4000 square feet house previously designed by rzlbd, 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 2 laundries, nanny room, home office, a large living/dining area and a spacious kitchen, bar with a wine cellar and entertainment area, covered garage and of course lots of storage area. Although Tetris house is compact in program but it manages to channel sufficient natural light throughout the entire length of the house. The light well that penetrates from the upper floor to the basement plugging into the living room with a glass-covered opening is an invisible Tetris element that helps bring a vertical light element into the house.

Ontario Residence Tetris House Ontario Residence New Home in Toronto
photos : borXu Design

For better efficiency the 55 feet long wall on ground floor is filled with a continuous built-in millwork that adapts to the needs of the programs. It transforms from the office shelving by the entry foyer, to the kitchen/dining cabinets and the fireplace in the living area. The millwork not only connects the four programs but also creates lots of storage space and a clean modern look to avoid a congested floor plan. The Tetris elements that plug into one another create challenges such as meeting appropriate height clearances and stair landings to properly meet the floors. These issues were carefully dealt with in section by individual steps on each level corresponding to the change in programs to allow for sufficient height on the lower levels.

The exterior of the house is a surprising jumble of different materials and claddings that courageously expose the Tetris elements of the interior spaces. This bold exposure is not an attempt at creating a harmonious façade, yet it is an attractive and charming scene as it displays the geometry of a well-played Tetris game.

By Lailee Soleimani

Tetris House New Home in Toronto New House in Toronto Tetris House
photos : borXu Design

New Home in Toronto – Building Information

Design: Reza Aliabadi [rzlbd]
Project Team: Reza Aliabadi, Ehsan Zareian
Structure: Ali Saeed
Construction Management: Doreen Development Inc.
Architectural Photography: borXu Design
Building Type: Single family house
Location: Toronto
Basics: Two & half story wood structure
Lot: 40’X110′
Living Area: 3,000 sqft
Design: 2012
Completion: Summer 2013

Toronto residence images / information from Atelier Reza Aliabadi > rzlbd

Atelier Reza Aliabadi > rzlbd

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto Architecture

Ontario Architecture Designs – chronological list

Toronto Building News on e-architect

Toronto Houses

House Designs

Toronto Architecture Walking Tours

Recent Toronto building designs by Atelier Reza Aliabadi > rzlbd:

Totem House

Shaft House

Charcoal House

Canadian Houses

Toronto Architecture

Toronto Residential Architecture

Cascade House
Paul Raff Studio

House 60

Canadian Architect

Toronto Architect : contact details


Comments / photos for Tetris House – New Toronto Residence page welcome

Tetris House Building

Toronto Architecture Designs – chronological list

Toronto, Ontario