NO MEAN CITY: Two young architects’ house and design lab

BlackLAB Bloordale Renovation

Cross-posted from No Mean City, Alex’s personal blog on architecture


In The Globe and Mail, I introduce the young firm BlackLAB Architects and their first completed project – the home of principals Tony Round and Andrea Kordos in Toronto’s Bloordale area.

It’s modest in scope but meticulously and creatively executed, on no budget.

This mosaic, for instance, is actually not a mosaic but a mural.

BlackLAB Bloordale Renovation

An excerpt from my story:

It looks like tile or perhaps printed wallpaper; in fact, it combines a digitally derived image with low-tech handiwork. Kordos found a picture of a lily online, pixellated it in Photoshop, and printed out key maps to be executed with masking tape and paint. “It was a Friday night and it seemed like a good idea at the time,” Round says with a rueful smile. “It started as a weekend project and wound up taking two weeks of standing at the wall slicing.” This move addresses a major theme in contemporary architecture: how to combine traditional ideas and techniques of craft with the computerized design process that defines today’s architecture.

Having seen what these two accomplished at home, I’ll be following them and their colleagues closely.

For a photo gallery, visit No Mean City.