Principal’s Residence, Branksome Hall

It is a tradition at Branksome that the Principal lives on the School Campus. This used to be in a heritage house set in the middle of the West campus. With the building of the new Athletics and Wellness Centre, this house became better suited to other School uses. Branksome was fortunate that a residential property came up for sale – and it abutted the Campus. Our firm was asked to undertake the renovation and addition to make a new residence for the Principal.

The house will be used for some School events and dinners, and so the ground floor is set up top accommodate these activities. The kitchen is large for catered events with floor-to-ceiling glass and access to the rear yard. The ground floor plan was “opened up” to allow for a relaxed flow between the still-distinct rooms.

The centre hall plan features a stair that runs from the basement to the third floor, which has steel plate stringers with solid oak treads. Between the stair runs, large, dramatic sheets of glass are pinned off the stringers, running continuously from top to bottom and providing a transparent guard between the stair runs. The second floor landing opens up to the living/family room, which has full height glass facing the back yard, allowing natural light to penetrate deep into the house.

The landscaping incorporates native species and has little or no maintenance. Since the house is on a busy corner, the rear and side yards are fenced in. In order to further define the precinct of the Branksome Campus, the design of the fence takes its cue from the new fence in front of the adjacent Athletic and Wellness Centre, stepping down at the corner where it forms a gateway to the residential neighbourhood of the Rosedale.