From the outside, this late 1940s red brick house blends in with the neighboring homes in suburban Outremont, Montreal. Yet looks can be deceiving! Architecture team Naturehumaine have completely transformed the interiors of this family home, giving the space a breathtaking new look.
At the Courcelette Residence, the home owners were looking to refresh the 350 m² (3,800-square-foot) building. One of the first things that you’ll notice in the revitalization process is the breakdown of walls, barriers and sliding partitions creating an open-plan house suitable for customization.
Previously, the rear facade did not allow substantial viewing or access to the back garden. Large sliding-door windows have been added to give a panoramic view of the yard. The designer chose to use a metal trellis awning framing, bringing together the exterior and interior to one livable shared space.
Lighting and Nature
With the new glass sliding door, light and a connection to nature are in abundance. With wooden decking for the exterior, the kitchen also carries the wood theme into the interior space emphasizing modern and sleek design.
Geometric shapes and curious angles play with the eye, centered to the white quartz kitchen island. Overall, with colors and composition the room gives off a sense of Piet Mondrian’s Composition in Red, Yellow, and Blue just using whites, grays, and natural wood.
The kitchen and dining room are well prepared for action. Spot lighting hangs above the dining table, and the kitchen cabinets benefit from back lighting over the countertops.
The simple cube shape in dark blue is an interesting addition, providing storage on one side, behaving as a doorway, and a bookcase on the other.
Separation and Flow
Throughout the space the owner wanted to have attention to detail without over compensating or cluttering the design. The blue storage cube is offset and freestanding, creating distinct space separator and division between the rear of the house and the front living room. Maintaining harmony is the natural flooring material that stretches and flows throughout.
Adding to the uniqueness of the architecture is the staircase. A solid set of steps in wood traverse to the family room, kept open or private with the use of a steel wall partition module. The next set of steps are light and feel like they’re floating through the glass banister. The stairs mark a transition and playful medley of materials.
“The transformation of this house opens it up, revitalizes the relationship between the spaces and creates a visual link between each one.” – Naturehumaine
Carrying on the intention of maintaining strong natural lighting in the design, the Courcelette Residence uses deep set large windows throughout the home. Large windows provide enough light to the intended spaces. One of the best areas to see where the natural lighting has been carefully considered is the stairway between the ground floor living room and residential area. While this opening does not have any unique design features, it really accentuates the room, and makes the transition between the spaces more connected. The bright light also makes it possible for a hanging vertical garden in the family room.
One of the home owners is a health professional with a keen interest in environmental wellbeing. The garden wall is a centrepiece to the family room, a welcome and unique addition to the living space. This greenery panel measures 2.8-by-five meters and is allowed to cascade over the containing space slightly so that when looking at the stairs from the ground level you can see hints of the trailing leaves.
As with the other areas in the house, the sleeping quarters have the same natural hardwood flooring and blend of glass and metal materials. Additionally, the blue cube area from the ground floor ascends upward into the residential area. Finally, the large open lighting continues on the top floor, tying all three spaces together. There are three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a study on the top floor.
Renew and Revitalize
Perhaps the greatest take away from the Courcelette Residence is the evidence that you don’t have to change everything about your home to bring it to life and revitalize the building. By focusing on opening the spaces as well as bringing in natural lighting and to the area, the home was instantly uplifted. Flexible spaces with striking colors and lines give this house a stunning new life.
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