atelier rzlbd, headed by Reza Aliabadi, was tapped to design a modern and minimal home in Toronto that was anything but ordinary. The homeowners travel the world and collect sculptures from the places they visit and that’s what inspired the design. A totem is essentially sculptures within a sculpture and the Totem House is built as a vertical gallery to exhibit the homeowner’s artwork.


The exterior is mostly a large charcoal brick volume with two small blocks extracted and clad in wood. It gives the appearance that the entire core material is wood instead of brick.


Each sculpture was carefully measured and placed in a specific niched within the interior tower. An open staircase connects the three floors, circulating around the totem, creating a gallery to observe the works.



With the exception of the appliances, everything in the kitchen is concealed behind white cabinet doors that go from floor to ceiling.


The master bedroom merges the en suite into the sleeping space, flooding both with natural light. Careful attention had to be paid to the wet and dry zones. Marble tiles separate the wet areas and define the shower and tub space from the rest of the space with hardwoods.


I’m guessing privacy isn’t an issue for these homeowner’s as there is none when it’s shower time.






Photos by borXu Design