I am in complete awe of this project in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood of Montréal. I have decided when I win the lottery I will hire la SHED architecture firm to design my dream house. The massive renovation they designed of this 1916 home and how they maintained and restored some of the original features (the huge window at the end of the dining room and how it is cut right into an opening in the moldings…WHOA!) is mind-blowingly awesome. In addition to a restoration of the front and side facades, the original character has been skilfully preserved with several old details highlighted in a contemporary intervention bringing openness, light and contrasts to a formerly very dark and partitioned space. Great care has been taken to restore and enhance the original features, in contrast with the contemporary and minimalist aspect of the interventions. The old staircase, once partitioned, is now unveiled and spectacularly highlighted, juxtaposed with wooden lath landings that let light filter through to the basement. The imposing staircase was completely dismantled and reassembled to integrate an internal structure making it self-supporting. The rear of the house has been completely reconfigured in order to optimize the sunshine in the courtyard as well as to allow as much natural light to enter on the three levels. The glass extension from the kitchen to the courtyard, surmounted by a typical volume with clean lines, houses the master bedroom. This extension is harmonized in the neighborhood by reinterpreting a traditional typology well present in the alleys of the sector: the covered terrace surmounted by an appendix or a solarium. The basement living spaces, a previously uninviting floor, now benefit from the layout of an English courtyard and a water basin reflecting the light through the full-height glass walls with recessed frames.
Photos: Maxime Brouillet