design et al are delighted to announce that Kon-strux Developments has been shortlisted for the Living Space – Global Award within The International Design and Architecture Awards 2017.
This heritage home was stripped out and rebuilt from the studs to reflect an artistic, eclectic lifestyle grounded in local history. The project brief outlined a complete gut of this 1912 craftsman-style heritage property in Calgary, Canada. The clients are discerning modern art collectors and wanted the house to showcase parts of their colourful collection, while being sympathetic to the history of the residence and surrounding neighbourhood. Western Canada has a very limited stock of heritage housing so an authentic renovation with aged materials and deliberate design is a savoured opportunity. Retained and refurbished in this whole-home project were the original fireplace workings, brass floor-level filigreed furnace vents, and original baseboards, casings, and architraves throughout the home. The original maple floors were refinished and repaired in damaged areas with matched aged boards from Eastern Canada.The homeowner’s collection of antique Shaker furniture pieces were central to the aesthetic guiding the design, and the mismatched antique dining chairs were chosen with a deliberate nod to “period casual”. Kon-strux replaced the entire electrical system in the house and brought in extensive modern lighting with an overarching historical flavour of glass fixtures with exposed bulbs. The “farmhouse” sinks and waterworks fixtures throughout the kitchen and bathrooms harken back to homestead living in high contemporary style. Undersized subway tiling was selected for its period character and high gloss to reflect light through the space. The original galley kitchen was modernized by tearing out a section of wall to expose the home’s back windows and opening up the entire space to bring in natural light. This family needed an eating bar, dining area and a cook’s dream kitchen with custom drawers and designs that would meet the need for ample family kitchen storage and insightful placement. The kitchen bay window was transformed into a cosy bench which adds more storage and comfortable seating. The wood eating bar’s table top is re-purposed from a 19th century Welsh church pew.
Unusually high (for the period in situ) 11 foot ceilings were highlighted with layered crown moulding and, in the kitchen, top-cupboard interior lighting to showcase heirlooms. Below, the floors throughout the house feature the family’s collection of wool runners and bespoke rugs. The living room design was conceived as a stylishly understated space to show off the clients’ art collection and the refitted gas fireplace with new glossy blue tile. The recessed ceiling makes this space, originally broken into two much smaller rooms, into a cohesive whole. The basement was previously a dark, damp under height space with exposed unsealed concrete floor. Kon-strux painted the original basement ceiling to leave wiring exposed: more of the client’s overt interest in modern-meets-casual originality. The soul of the house sings when you see the antique barn boards used along the south basement walls. These materials, salvaged from a rural schoolhouse, were painted by attending children decades ago. Kon-strux sealed and mounted them “randomly” to hopscotch the colours and heighten the whimsy of the basement space.