Ask the Architect
A 20-minute phone call to establish a project road map for your building project. Cost: Free.
Project Orientation Meeting
A 1.5-hour consultation to discuss the potential of the project and site. Following this meeting, Firma will mail you a report summarizing the architectural program for your building. Cost: $250 + HST in our office, or $350 + HST on your site.
Following the Project Orientation Meeting, Firma can send you a formal Proposal for Architectural Services for your project.
"We are on the cusp of a major change to the real estate market in Toronto," Maston explains. "There are 300 km of public laneways in Toronto. These laneways now mainly service garage access for the homes in front of them, but this is all about to change." Firma's laneway home will allow for shorter design and build times for homeowners. Despite the simplified process, home buyers will still get the benefits of working with an architect.
Firma's two prototype laneway suites ... feature open floor plans, big windows and rooftop terraces, along with a polished masonry shell that resists both car bumpers and graffiti ... When they come to life, Firma's laneway suites will be mostly invisible to the street, but that's by design. These homes are intended as functional living spaces; the aesthetic is subtler. "It's the idea of a blank canvas," says Maston. "It's less about the architect's thesis coming across in the building and more about the person that lives there being able to make it their place."
The enthusiasm isn't coming just from the public, but also from architects who see laneway housing as a distinct opportunity for a new Toronto style. "I think [it's] going to be a kind of revolution for housing in Toronto," says Lia Maston of Lia Maston Architect/FIRMA, one of the pioneering offices setting up as a design build for laneway houses… Laneway houses "look into the future." They're boxy, symmetrical, minimalist, very open, and they often integrate rooftop gardens and patios.