A Light in the Forest

Photos Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard

Nestled in Quebec’s Laurentian forest, this home of harmonious, balanced volumes shines through the woods like a lantern on snowy winter nights. Facing a mountain and lovely lake, the house is spread over three levels.


From the outside, the minimalist structure is discreet, with concealed doors and only part of its interior space visible. Set into the hillside, the volumes create a subdued horizontal effect that masks the size of the house when approached from the driveway. Clad in dark cedar stained a colour that varies between stone and bark, the building gently melds into the natural environment.

The foyer inside the front door opens onto a main corridor that spans the home, continuously connecting the inhabitants to the forest thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows at either end. The strategically placed main staircase acts as the backbone of house, with rooms branching off on either side. MU Architecture designed the house to optimize the flow between rooms and reduce foot traffic.

Maison 4110
Tres Chic
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On the west side, the main living area opens to the outdoors, enjoying an unobstructed view of the mountain and lake through the generous fenestration.

The interior ceilings and adjoining exterior soffits are both covered in natural white cedar. The vast open space includes the living room, its fireplace clad in grey steel plates reminiscent of the colour of trees, and the dining area/kitchen, finished in white lacquer, wood panelling, and marble. The lightness of the materials heightens the natural light flooding the rooms. Cantilevered over the lower level, the west-facing covered veranda overlooking the lake is designed as a continuation of the kitchen, with its own fireplace and kitchenette.

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Resembling an observatory, the owners’ suite is located in the upper level of the home. It seems to float above the large deck off the main level, providing shade during the summer. A two-person office adjoining the bedroom is separated from the stairwell by an open wood bookshelf. A walk-in closet, bathroom with incredible views of the lake and surrounding area, and small balcony complete the suite.


Seen from the lake, the “Lantern” reveals all three of its levels as it fully inhabits the space. The bright, airy, healthy environment is perfect for a family, while the light natural building materials create a profound sense of well-being in picturesque settings.

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Cover Photo: Architects / designers, MU Architecture; Contractor, Construction Metric.  


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