Located in the St-Henri district of Montreal, this project involves the conversion of a duplex into a cottage for a young professional couple wishing to adapt the layout to their needs. The main challenge : to transform the small, dark and enclosed rooms of this 150-year-old home into a bright and fluid space.
Rather than just opening everything up, we preferred working on relationships between spaces. Views and alignments are created, providing an open feel while preserving the intimacy of the house under the eaves. The separation of the areas is clear-cut, the lines are sharp, but the spaces remain fused to each other.
On the ground floor, sliding doors disappear to maximize the flow between rooms. The steel plate forming the stringboard of the stairs opens a gap between the interior and the original structure. Upstairs, a partition concealing structural elements is provided with a wide opening, organized with a seat shared by the two spaces it separates, allowing views from the living room onto the courtyard. An opening in the ceiling of the second floor liberates a double height, generating new views between the mezzanine and the spaces below.
As the owners are frequently cooking and like to entertain, the kitchen had to be structured to allow a festive atmosphere and a functional organization. Thus, the black lacquered kitchen unit is placed in the space and extends towards the adjacent room. It is joined with a movable wooden kitchen island that allows for the reconfiguration of the kitchen to accommodate receptions.The kitchen space expands, it becomes flexible and versatile. The natural patina of the Carrara marble of the countertop and the backsplash ages over time, in contrast with the more static appearance of the lacquered surfaces. A dialogue takes place between black and white, between permanence and that which evolves and transforms.