OG House

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Omar Gandhi
Ema Peter, Doublespace Photography

Located in the vibrant, historic North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia on a narrow and abandoned lot sits OG House. The minimal dwelling was designed with the intention of becoming the primary residence of Omar Gandhi, his partner, and his son, sitting over top of what would become the architecture studios’ east coast home base. However, the studio grew to a level that could no longer be accommodated in the modest space. The ground-floor office is now a dedicated community studio, focused on community projects, including housing for the homeless and safe public amenities.

A large, raw, steel-clad, pill-shaped closet both marks the entry and provides privacy for the studio space. At the top of the first run of stairs is a brick and wood-lined powder room made secure with a 9-foot tall, raw steel pivot door. A custom sink carved from a white oak block hangs from the wall. The second floor, clad entirely in white oak paneling, houses the kitchen, dining and living room spaces. Carved into the end of the volume is a two-storey lightwell which reached the full height of the house. Intensive lighting studies and parametric modelling were used to form find the lightwell shape to ensure optimal natural lighting conditions throughout the length of the living space. A white oak kitchen island and dining table make up for over 30 feet of length spanning both the kitchen and dining spaces with a double curved opening allowing for easy flow through the space.

The third floor houses two bedrooms with two contrasting, monochrome bathrooms, both featuring full-length skylights which reveal the extreme weather conditions and dramatic skies of the coastal city. Up one final flight of stairs lives the roof space which includes a small sitting area and garden at the street side of the house. Wood-lined stairwells and handrails with organic, custom-designed bronze brackets emerge from the seams of the white oak paneling.

In the shop