13 Evergreen Drive

Pagani House

Bylaw: (2002)-16973

Legal description: Lot 7, Plan 552

Designated portions

The designation applies to:

  • All of the exterior of the original structure built in the 1960’s, specifically excluding the walls of the small one-storey addition built in 1989 on the northwest side of the original structure, as shown in the drawing (included in by-law).
  • The main barrel-vaulted roof and the flat form of the roofs over the bedroom wing and over the 1989 addition.
  • All window and door openings in the designated walls of the building and the design of the doors and windows in those openings.;

Inside the building, the designation covers:

  • The split-level open space concept of the living areas under the barrel-vaulted roof, specifically, the combined space occupied by the entry hall, the living room, dining space, and kitchen (upper level of the two split levels), and the family room (lower level of the two split levels)
  • The high ceiling of the entry hall
  • The Pagani-designed hanging light fixtures in the entry hall, the living room, and the dining space.
  • The maple cupboards and cabinets of unified design, throughout the dwelling, including the stainless steel handles of the original design.

It is intended that any non-original features may be returned to their documented original form without requiring City Council permission for an alteration to the designation.

Property history

The Pagani House is one of the best examples in Guelph of Modern design. Architect Richard Pagani designed it as his own home in 1961. He worked closely with his father, Dario, one of Guelph’s leading contractors, and the Fir Plywood Institute of Canada, in experimenting with bent plywood to create the dwelling’s distinctive barrel-vaulted roof. The structural engineering was done by the Toronto engineering firm of Paul Halsall, and the mechanical and electrical services were designed by the Kitchener firm, Walter, Fedy.

Richard Pagani was born and raised in Guelph and studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. His work in Guelph was characterized by artistic creativity and innovation. He designed a number of schools, such as College Avenue Public School and St. Bernadette School, and several houses in the fashionable modern style. His best known work includes the Omark (Blount) headquarters, near the corner of Edinburgh and Woodlawn Roads, the 1959 Guelph Police Station, and the Westminister-St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church on Victoria Road.

In keeping with Modernist design principles, the Pagani House features open space planning. Pagani wanted to move away from traditional house design by opening up areas and giving a sense of space. The large front hall leads to a split-level living area where the feeling of space is accentuated by floor-to-ceiling windows looking to the private rear yard and gardens. A common design for the maple cupboards and cabinets (with stainless steel handles) was used throughout the house. The hanging light fixtures in the front hall and living rooms were designed by Pagani.

The owners at the time of the dwelling’s designation, Doug Haines and Sandra Walsh, have effectively restored the Modern spirit by removing a wall enclosing the dining room, which had been added by previous owners, and restoring walls which had received substantial water damage.

The designation covers the entire exterior (with the exception of the 1989 addition to the north), including the barrel-vaulted roof, the brick and glass walls, and the continuous flat rooflines of both the original house and 1989 addition. The designation also covers certain elements of the interior of the house, including the open space concept of the front hall and the two main floors of living space, the maple cupboards and cabinets throughout the house, including the stainless steel handles, and the hanging light fixtures in the front hall and living rooms.