Categorie du projet: Selected Projects

Grand Bercail

A family home now part of the Terrasses de Cap-à-l’Aigle collection in Charlevoix

November 2021. The architects visit the luxurious rental homes on this breathtaking mountain above La Malbaie in Charlevoix. Cantilevers, curtain walls, floating terraces, garden roofs and recessed residences: these architect-designed homes are bursting with creativity. How do you build a rental villa that blends in naturally with Charlevoix’s imposing, craggy landscapes? How can you create a warm, family-friendly environment while limiting your carbon footprint?

With its large gallery overlooking the river and its majestic metal roof, Le Grand Bercail evokes a sense of timelessness. A contemporary Maison Québécoise, it is as comforting as it is astonishing. Built to take advantage of the sun’s rays in winter and multiply views in all seasons, it uses its large roof overhangs to reduce overheating during heatwaves. Its hyper-insulated walls, roof and glazing (40% more than required) and excellent airtightness (0.35 CAH) make it a house that stays cool in summer and warm in winter. The delicacy of its setting between the trees and its palette inspired by boreal tones give the impression that it has always existed. 

 

Ofuro Laurier

Journey to Japan in a loft on Laurier Avenue

Exasperated by the pandemic and in need of travel, this audiophile couple dreamed of major renovations and… a journey to Japan! Their Laurier Avenue loft, formerly a private pub, had been strangely fitted out by a designer in the 90s, with a huge windowless bedroom in the center, a large living room in front, a tiny kitchen in the back and little storage space. Fascinated by traditional Japanese ryokan inns, the couple wanted to infuse a bit of Japanese culture into their daily lives.

The foundations were laid for a major transformation! The addition of a large, angled skylight in the center of the loft created a bright, spacious kitchen. The long countertop backs onto a completely uncluttered wall, into which the kitchen hood is recessed. The rear bedroom is quieter and offers a view of the garden. The reuse of mahogany moldings and doors reminds us of the illustrious past of this former private club. The recovery of maple furniture from the 90s maximizes storage and gives a sense of height as you enter the dwelling. The living room, generously open to Rue Laurier, offers a subdued ambiance in high-fidelity music mode. The visit culminates in the bathroom, featuring a spectacular Japanese wooden bathtub, the ofuro, highlighted by tadelakt plaster and an asnaro wood slatted ceiling. Home sweet home!

Les Studios du PAS

Nineteen affordable, high-performance housing units are built in Montreal’s East End for seniors who have experienced homelessness 

The complex challenge of this commission was to quickly build affordable housing without compromising its integration into the neighborhood nor its performance. Funding from the Government of Canada and the City of Montreal was granted in March 2021, through CMHC’s ICRL program. To meet the 18-month design-to-delivery deadline, the architects relied on standardization and prefabrication. Early in the process, close collaboration with the engineers and the builder aims to achieve quality housing, while respecting time and budget constraints. 

The two-storey layout fills a gap in the urban fabric of eastern Notre-Dame Street. The units are arranged on either side of a central circulation, forming a compact volume with a regular rhythm. With a surface area of less than 30m², the units are compact, but fitted out with plenty of storage and generous glazing that gives an impression of grandeur. The units’ loggias provide respite, privacy and fresh air for tenants. Flooded with natural light, the double-height lobby provides a friendly and inclusive welcome. The adjoining common room and its office allow the staff to ensure regular follow-up with the tenants. Outside, multiple vegetated rest areas reduce the heat island effect and multiply exchanges between users. Thanks to the organic garden, the happy residents have the chance to practice a productive and therapeutic activity. The colorful, high-performance, inclusive, vegetated architectural project, open to the neighborhood, encourages interaction and support for a vulnerable clientele. A winning formula to be replicated for sure!

Al Partma

A first floor in the Petite-Patrie neighborhood is converted into a Mediterranean-like oasis

The owners of this two-storey triplex built in the 1920s had previously gotten a poorly designed and poorly built extension. Worn out by this painful experience and forced to make multiple corrections to the structure of the volume, they seized the opportunity to redesign the dwelling to mirror their needs.

The Mediterranean-style living room opens generously onto a large terrace on the same level, bathed in soft light filtered through a cedar pergola. By covering the existing extension with a warm and luminous white coating, the architects took the opportunity to improve the insulation and airtightness of the exterior walls. Space optimization allows each child to have their own bedroom at the front, adds a lot of storage in the center and arranges the living area around the courtyard with its kitchen, dining room and reading area. 

With a friendly wooden island in the center, a reading bench nestled in the corner, and built-in curvilinear bookcases, the space is now warm and inviting. Discover Al Partma, the apartment with a subtle Arabian atmosphere that celebrates the Mediterranean origins of this Montreal family!

Saint-Élie-de-Villeray

An old duplex and repair shop transformed into five townhouses in Villeray

Nestled in a cul-de-sac behind Jarry street, little Saint-Élie street is a surprise. Here one finds auto mechanics’ shops, the back of various businesses, duplexes, a few mature trees and, above all, a very serene atmosphere. In acquiring the duplex and its double lot, this developer, an appreciator of architecture, wanted to densify the area without spoiling it.

To do so, the duplex was extended to the rear and upwards. It now houses two units of three and four bedrooms with bright living areas, including a large roof terrace. On the second lot, the demolished repair shop makes room for a new two-storey attached triplex with mezzanine and roof terrace. To maximize natural light and privacy, the architects created a maisonnette at the back of the courtyard accessible through a carriage entrance on the façade. The combination of airy metal-clad volumes set on a pinkish clay brick base enlivens the building. Welcome to five new families in Saint-Élie-de-Villeray !

Schoolcraft Solar Home

A modest but highly efficient country home is built on a hillside in the Eastern Townships

Can you build an efficient architect-designed home in the middle of nowhere on a decent budget? That was the hope of a young family when they purchased their land in 2019. With the pandemic, the project accelerated. The challenge was to take advantage of the view of the green mountains to the west, maximize thermal gains in the winter to the south, reduce deforestation on the land, minimize the building’s footprint in the landscape, all with the lowest cost and… as quickly as possible ! 

Compact and minimal, the interior volume is located near the road and oriented towards the view to the west. A long shed extends the roof over the entrance, protecting its inhabitants from unwanted glances and their car from bad weather. From the road, the house is totally unremarkable. As you step inside, you are surrounded by the woodland on one side and the horizon on the other. The tall mature ash and maple trees to the south protect the windows from the summer overheat. The walk-in master bedroom enjoys a stunning view toward the sunset, while the three compact garden level bedrooms take advantage of the sloping land. The prefabrication of the highly airtight wooden walls made it possible to quickly build an almost passive house with a lean consumption of 114 kWh/m²/year. Despite the post-pandemic inflation, the challenge was met !  Welcome to the friendly Schoolcraft solar house !

70’s Dream

Restoration of a stunning 1976 single-family residence

From the Saint-Marc limestone stairway to the layout of the bedrooms and their oversize closets, from the large kitchen overlooking the garden to the dramatic interior spiral staircase, the distinctive elements of this home have been restored to preserve its welcoming personality. The use of classic materials such as wood, travertine and brass soften the composition and recall the origins of the house built during the Montreal Olympic Games. In the courtyard, the rotted wooden terrace is transformed into a gorgeous pool by the garden. Multiple plateau terraces integrate the pool fences and create both a small outdoor living room plus a patio to eat outside. On either side of the courtyard and against the natural stone wall, vegetation and an English garden adorn what has turned into a haven of peace in the mountain ! A dream comes true !

Les Répliques

Four families enjoy beneficial densification in their new Rosemont duplex

Steps away from the Botanical Gardens, a through lot was eagerly awaiting densification. Bordered by wooded properties to the north and recent condos to the south, its vacant frontage on Charlemagne Avenue was divided into two lots for development. How could quality living spaces for families be created on such shallow parcels? The architects’ answer was to stack two two-story dwellings on each lot. 

The duplexes are each made up of an orangey brick projecting volume on the first two floors, topped by a recessed metal cladding volume on the third. Repeated from one lot to the next, the ensemble creates a nice rhythm one would want to continue on adjacent lots to the north. As a finishing touch, a pattern of recesses of varying widths in the cladding accentuates the verticality and emphasizes the regular alignment of the generous openings. At the entrances, wide staircases provide an invitation to dawdle and to chat with neighbors. At the rear, a courtyard and generous overhanging balcony provide each family with an outdoor space to bask among the trees. Inside each unit, a service block organizes circulation and ensures adequate separation between spaces. Welcome to Les Répliques, a fine example of fruitful infill enlivening the already vibrant neighborhood of Rosemont!

Aux Souches

A winter station « heats the outdoor » in the midst of the pandemic in Lachine

Comment dire les choses autrement :
on s’est remplis
de couleurs
qui existent juste
quand on ferme les yeux
– Marie-Andrée Gill, Chauffer le dehors

The setup consists of nine rotating light stumps that invite passers-by to pause for a break. Together with twelve small tree trunks, it creates a pleasant impression of urban woodland. The place is inviting, reassuring and luminous. The setting invites walkers to take a new look at a familiar place.

A dichroic film integrated into the transparent seat of the stumps produces an astonishing light effect. During the day, the reflection of natural light is colored in cold tones. At night, the same film refracts the lighting of the recessed luminaires in amber tones. Both day and night, the movement of the seat and of the passer-by varies the colors, soothing the visitor with soft poetry. 

Luminous pixels projected in the trees of the park create a vertical appeal that evokes starlit skies. As the Quebec poet Marie-Andrée Gill writes, one feels like closing the eyes and seeing things in a different way…

Café Bloc

Downtown’s first climbing center set up in a former Red Light movie theater.

Filled with ambition, two young Montreal climbers started looking downtown for a building big enough to accommodate their bouldering passion. They eventually settled on an abandoned Red Light movie theater and transformed it into a climbing center. Beyond the sporting activity, they sought to create a place where the growing community of urban climbers could meet. 

Driven by this inclusive vision, the architects created a friendly place where the coffee lover can mingle with the expert climber. To take advantage of natural light, large windows were added on Saint-Laurent Boulevard and on the mezzanine. The long black façade features the café and the block wall on either side of the main entrance, which is overhung by a large false façade clad with perforated aluminum that overshadows the old Casino cinema. 

Inside, the bouldering walls on either side of the space converge on a large podium offering spectacular views of the climbers and leading to the mezzanine with its dressing rooms and rest area. A large part of the furniture is built from demolition scraps. With its large walls painted by muralist Danae Brissonnet, Café Bloc offers 4000 square feet of climbing walls and a vibrant atmosphere! Welcome to the Red Light district of the 2020s!