Original title: Triptyque
Photos : Maxime Brouillet
Nestled in the Laurentians 100 kilometres from Montreal, this house composed of a central pavilion with two symmetrical wings embraces the land, and is open to nature, as if drawn by destiny.
This second home was designed to become the owners’ primary residence when they retire. With a pristine lake making it the ideal location for these avid swimmers, the topography was perfect for building a home without cutting down any trees. “We wanted a house with a lot of personality and pizzazz, something out of the ordinary. We also wanted it to be full of light and blend into its surroundings,” reveal the homeowners, who enlisted Marie-Claude Hamelin and Loukas Yiacouvakis of the firm YH2 for the project. The architects envisioned a space in three volumes that follows the sloping terrain and offers endless views of the lake.
The three sections of the building provide different vantages and draw the eye outside. “The house is built on a small hill; the central area occupies the top of the hill, while the two lateral areas open onto the lower part of the lot. The garage is built on lower ground to the west, while our bedroom occupies the area that descends to the east. The guest bedroom and bathroom are located on top of the garage, on the opposite side of the house from the master suite, ensuring privacy for both parties,” explain the owners. In the main entrance, a stairway leads to the garage on the lower floor. The central area of the home is occupied by the kitchen and adjoining office, while a glass link housing the dining room leads to the living room. The roof of the living room slopes upwards with large windows framing the treetops. The architects opted for natural materials, both inside and outside the home, to blur the lines between architecture and nature. Black aluminium window and door casings give the home a sleek look and strong presence, while eastern cedar planks provide warmth.
The second stairway leads directly from the master bedroom to the living room. Designed to resemble a single block of wood, this sculptural masterpiece appears to float on air.
Throughout the house, large windows make the landscape an integral part of the space. The dining room, however, stands out for its unusual ceiling. Covered with a backlit sheet of aluminium dotted with delicate leaf-shaped cutouts, it evokes the Laurentian canopy and creates a truly magical setting when the sun goes down. Together these unique creative touches, the play of volumes, and blend of textures make this contemporary home special. Although the various spaces flow together, a change in flooring cleverly helps distinguish the owners’ private quarters from the common spaces: polished concrete for the former and white oak for the latter, other than the entryway and a small area of the kitchen. The architect-designed furniture blends subtly into the partition walls.