Inspired by the surrounding nature, this house was strategically positioned to preserve the existing vegetation. Its architecture creates a cohesive whole that balances indoor and outdoor space.
Ideally situated on the Prairies River, this lot features majestic pine trees and indigenous plants. Nature is allowed to take its course here, complemented by elements from the boreal forest planted in the inner courtyard and around the pool, while the house’s exterior cladding echoes the colour of the pine needles littering the ground. “Long, thin bricks were chosen to underscore the horizontal orientation of the house and river. Around the pool area, the bricks were staggered to create an unconventional perforated screen,” explains Stephan Chevalier, founding architect and senior partner of the firm Chevalier Morales.
The single-storey property forms a perfect square measuring thirty metres along each side. Every detail counts and there is nothing ostentatious in the design. On the contrary, discretion is the order of the day as evidenced by the double garage in the west wing, whose doors cannot be seen from the driveway. The large open space outside the front door acts as a transition zone between nature and the home. The only element to interrupt the brick building is a two-storey glass cube, which offers height and a different perspective. “The small glass cubicle is used as a family room and provides access to a rooftop patio, but all the other living spaces are located on the ground floor,” continues Chevalier.
The expansive interior space uses an open-concept floor plan, although it does not appear to have one, thanks to the subtle divisions created by the fireplace and stairway. Composed of a steel structure hanging from brass rods, the stairs are a true feat of sculptural design and highlight the home’s quality construction. The presence of light wood elements, including the ceiling, creates a warm, soothing atmosphere, while the 1960s-inspired terrazzo flooring, which the owners adore, unifies the space.
The architect reinvented the style of the 1950s–1960s by playing with the quality of light and transparency between living areas, but he did adopt one of the era’s key architectural features: the sunken living room. The sofa is actually level with the floor and almost no furniture is visible, giving the room a greater feeling of spaciousness and preserving the desired minimalist spirit.
Dining room table, Bonaldo; chairs, Gabriel Ross; dining area Skan pendant lamps by Vibia, Sistemalux; central fireplace, Ortal; kitchen, Créations de la Sablonnière
Architects: Stephan Chevalier and Sergio Morales, founding architects and senior partners, Julie Rondeau, project architect, Chevalier Morales; contractor, St-Laurent Construction; wooden front door, Les portes Alain Bourrassa
Photos Adrien Williams