Built to optimize the view of Mount Pinacle, this contemporary house erected on high ground in Sutton in the touristic region of the Eastern Townships surprises with its unusual design.
This project, imagined by the firm La Shed Architecture, responds to the request of a couple who wanted a secondary home in Sutton. A residence filled with peacefulness and the omnipresent natural landscape. “The terrain is quite rugged and steep, so it was more complicated to develop the living spaces on the ground floor as we often do when it’s flat,” explains Yannick Laurin, associate architect at La Shed Architecture. “We, therefore, had the idea of designing outdoor spaces built directly off the building. We decided to reverse the conventional uses of the rooms by putting the common areas upstairs to take full advantage of the view and to follow the terrain as much as possible.
On the first level, the architectural volume follows natural topographic curves. This way, the building is well anchored to the site and access is more fluid. You thus arrive directly under the carport adjoining the entrance hall and the staircase.”
On the second floor, the rotation of the volume directs the panorama towards the mountain and the very open valley. The architects chose to turn only the upper part and not the whole house to integrate the carport into the ground and clear the roof of the ground floor module and create a terrace. “The structure was simple, like a cube, but we did a rotation of about forty-five degrees, like a slide. This volume seems to have been placed on top of the other,” continues Laurin. This shift also makes the house appear less imposing from the street because you can only see the upper floor.
The layout of the living spaces, including the kitchen, the dining room, the living room, and the screened three-season room, are designed in a row so that guests can enjoy the view from the side of the fully glazed facade at all times.
Since all the storage is built-in, the gaze sweeps across the inside. Still, the play of light and shadow on architectural elements, such as the steel staircase whose movement is evocative of the house’s design, fill the interior space. Moreover, colours and materials complement each other inside and out. Thus, the two volumes are covered with wood, and the internal part of the carport is in white acrylic plaster; in the house, the immaculate walls and the polished concrete floor are warmed by walnut features.
Here, nothing is superfluous; monochrome and minimalism leave nature to take its place for a decor that changes with the weather and seasons.
Photos Maxime Brouillet