To respond to the need for space from a couple and their three children wishing to reside on the Mount-Royal Plateau, Appareil Architecture converted a duplex into a single-family residence. The dug basement and the mezzanine, perched on the roof, offer 4 livable levels at the heart of the city.
An expansion that makes interior and exterior converse.
While the front façade shows no trace of this transformation, the back reveals the expansion through the addition of a floor that hosts the main bedroom and its protected terrace. This mini building with its gabled roofs resembles a small house, lending the residence the aesthetics of a traditional house. This annex, which seems to be perched in the sky, is structurally detached from the original building, but is integrated into the back façade thanks to its color palette. The metallic grey roof and the wooden body hearken to the St-Marc limestone and to the dark wood frames.
The architectural intention was to work the exterior and interior in a coherent manner, so as to unify the house’s transformation. Inside the residence, the same language develops as for the envelope: a clear and neutral palette leaves place for the wood’s warmth to express itself. Additionally, the material is declined under all its forms. In the children’s bathroom, the counter, the sink and the shower shelf are sculpted in a sandstone porcelain with red polka dots. A brightly colored curtain in the same hue accentuates the washroom’s playful and dynamic nature. The textile gives texture to the room, in the image of the ceramic’s small colored polka dots.
Integrated furniture and openwork staircase, for airy and bright interiors.
This transformation’s playing field was dictated by the façade’s width, spanning only 20 feet. The architects worked the links between the levels to not lose too much space and to optimize each square foot.
The staircase linking the four levels was completed without rises and with a railing made of fine metallic leaves, to let light enter from the backyard through to the house’s heart. A bold architectural element, visible from the communal living space and through the first floor’s glass floor, the staircase is delineated along a long, limestone wall. It lengthens the space, giving an impression of height despite a lower ceiling height in the kitchen. To feel less cramped, the architects opened the living room and dining room onto the backyard. The all-wood terrace is made in openwork, to bring light into the basement.
To optimize the space, the team favored furniture that is integrated within the architecture. A useful wall serves both as storage and a partition between the entrance and the kitchen. One of the two sliding doors hides the pantry and allows this large family to more easily conceal messes, thus decluttering the communal space. The red oak wall lends its joyfulness to the kitchen. The integrated wooden handles create a path and give texture to the partition. “The global reflection on the integrated furniture has enabled us to optimize the available space so precious to the project and to design living areas that are both functional and signed” Esther Leduc, senior designer at APPAREIL Architecture.
We find the same strategy of a useful wooden wall in the small main bedroom on the upper floor. The long and high integrated oak storage that faces the bed lends a warm character to the room. To give an impression of space to the small room, the architects maximized the opening onto the exterior and created a fluid passage. The bathroom opens directly onto the room, with only a full-height curtain separating both rooms. The fabric contributes to opening up the space and to creating an airy and delicate atmosphere. The shower’s skylight offers a refreshing experience and light effects on the monochromatic walls and floors throughout the day.
De la Cime residence, thanks to its ingenious and generous interventions, takes its place within a Montreal architecture that takes into consideration the reality of families in urban spaces.
Contractor : Paquet construction
Cabinet maker : Kastella
Metal : L’artisan de l’acier