“The main idea was to preserve the existing façade, and to use the envelope to deflect from what is happening inside,” explain the architects. “We tried to respect the past, while making slight additions to delineate old from new, including rounded brick columns that subtly contrast with the angular architecture of the original building.”
▼建筑外观，external view of the building ©Alex Lesage
A blank slate
In respecting the external façade of the building, Atelier Barda made only subtle changes to existing elements in order to transition the building from the past to the present. The architects completely gutted the interior of the existing building, embarking on a redesign from scratch. A portion of the commercial space was preserved, yet halved in size, and cuts were made to the side of the existing façade in order to create new openings for entry to the residential space, and for a new garage. The original entrance to the upper-level apartments was then relocated from the main commercial boulevard to the residential side street, providing the client with more discreet access to the residence. At the rear of the building, two external balconies were enclosed by making a slight extension of the brick façade, using brick patterns that match the original construction.
view of the building from the street, residential entrance separated from the commercial opening ©Alex Lesage
▼住宅入口侧立面，facade of the residential entrance side ©Alex Lesage
▼车库和住宅入口，entrance to the residence and the garage ©Alex Lesage
▼立面细部，facade details ©Alex Lesage
Thinking from inside of the box
To maximize its vision, while adhering to strict building codes and regulations, Atelier Barda embarked on an interior design plan that compressed previous ceiling heights, established new floor plates, and created a fourth level in the form of a rooftop mezzanine. On the second level of the building, the firm created a visitor’s suite comprised of three bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, a living room, and two bathrooms. The third level serves as the principle living quarters of the client, and Atelier Barda hollowed out its 1,700 sq. ft. volume to create an open-air courtyard. The 200 sq. ft. courtyard is enclosed in glass internally and divides the living room area from the master bedroom. Extending vertically, the courtyard is exposed to nature’s elements from above, and features lush vegetation, seating areas, and a Japanese soaking tub.
▼业主住宅起居空间，living room of the client’s residence ©Alex Lesage
▼空间中部为一座庭院，courtyard in the center of the space ©Alex Lesage
▼庭院近景，种满植物，closer view to the courtyard with lush vegetation ©Alex Lesage
“The courtyard really articulates the space, while creating a very private outdoor area for the client,” say the architects. “It also allowed us to bring abundant light into the core of the building.”
The courtyard contributes to more than 1,000 sq. ft. of overall outdoor space, including two very private rooftop terraces that serve as bookends for a newly-constructed 400 sq. ft. mezzanine level. Positioned on the rooftop in such a way that it is unseen from street level, the fully-enclosed mezzanine houses the main kitchen and dining room of the residence, opening onto a vegetable garden terrace at one end, and an outdoor dining and lounging terrace at the other.
▼庭院俯视，look down at the courtyard ©Alex Lesage
▼浴缸和休息区，soaking tub and seating area ©Alex Lesage
▼庭院细部，details of the courtyard ©Alex Lesage
“The client likes to entertain, so we decided to include the kitchen and dining room on the mezzanine level because of the access it provides to the two terraces,” they explain. “The interior of the mezzanine provides easy access to the terraces, while externally they are separated by the opening of the internal courtyard, which provides views down into the third level.”
▼夹层中的餐厅和厨房，kitchen and dining room in the mezzanine ©Alex Lesage
▼厨房操作台，operation surface ©Alex Lesage
space enclosed by curtains, bringing in soft natural light ©Alex Lesage
Soft and demure
‘Soft and demure’ characterizes the interior of the residence, infusing subtle hints of luxury into the living spaces through the use of clean lines and minute detailing. The firm worked closely with suppliers to develop specific finishes, such as the oiled oak hardwood floors of the residence, ensuring a delicate balance of warmth and color that resonates throughout the space. Devoid of ornamentation and overdesign, Atelier Barda’s minimalist approach uses soft contrasts between white walls and black trimmings, as well as abundant use of curtains for a more domestic scale.
▼柔和而优雅的室内空间，soft and demure interior space ©Alex Lesage
▼卧室，定制的橡木地板，bedroom with custom-made oak flooring ©Alex Lesage
bathroom, soft contrast between white walls and black trimmings ©Alex Lesage
▼定制家具，custom-made furnishings ©Alex Lesage
Atelier Barda worked closely with local artisans to design customized furnishings that complete the residence. The firm also worked with stone workers to custom-build black terrazzo vanities and washbasins for the master bathroom. The bathroom’s black terrazzo floors extend seamlessly into the shower, providing a visual continuity that is replicated in the extension of the main bedroom’s wooden floors to the panelling of its dressing area.
▼细部，details ©Alex Lesage
“Within the walls of the original façade, we have built this sort of Italian ‘baldacchino’ that sits atop an older structure,” conclude the architects. “It’s a very discreet intervention, but filled with complex technical design features and transformations that are only revealed inside the envelope.”
▼二层平面图，second floor plan ©Atelier Barda
▼三层平面图，third floor plan ©Atelier Barda
▼夹层平面图，mezzanine plan ©Atelier Barda
▼剖面图，section ©Atelier Barda
Location: Montréal, Canada
Surface area: 7,200 sq. ft.
Model credit: Le Kutsch
Photo credit: Alex Lesage