Tesseract House by Phaedrus Studio

The Tesseract House by Phaedrus Studio was built in Toronto, in the western lakeside streetcar suburb. It is a single family residence that stands out as the antithesis of the recent vernaculars. It unconventionally and simply engage the context and is a contemporary, impactful alternative with an outward presence that is not imposing.


The house covers an area of 275 square meters and is actually larger than it seems. The design is not innovative but it is complex and simple at the same time. This is all done through the conventional constraints of the local residential construction standards. Tesseract House does stand out.

What is interesting and not that common is that the Tesseract House was a self-initiated project. There is no client that had specific requirements to take into account.

The goal of this building was to prove the fact that you can create contemporary architecture capable of fulfilling a marketplace demand, all while proving that creativity can generate artful and innovative spaces while using readily available and conventional construction methods. The budget was low, as much as it is expected to pay for such a house.

There are no programmatic limitations with this project. The design team was allowed to experiment with different ideas, which is not what we often see.

Comfort standards end up being high and there is a lot of access to fresh air and natural light. Various materials and textures were thoughtfully and elegantly joined.

Photographs: Ryan Fung