DeNormanville House by Thomas Balaban Architect

DeNormanville House by Thomas Balaban Architect

Project: DeNormanville House
Architects: Thomas Balaban Architect / T B A
Design Team:Thomas Balaban, Jennifer Thorogood, Mikaèle Fol, Pascale Julien
Location: Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie, Montréal, QC
Area: 153 m2
Year: 2019
Photos and text by Thomas Balaban Architect

Montreal’s shoebox homes emerged on the outskirts of the city in tandem with the development of the tramway system at the beginning of the 20th century. The modest flat-roofed, single storey boxes were built as starter homes, often measuring no more than 600 square feet in area. The shoebox was usually a self-build, designed to be expanded upon in a piecemeal fashion as need and money arose.

DeNormanville House by Thomas Balaban Architect

The controversial replacement of the typology with low-rise multi-unit developments in recent years has seen equally controversial protective regulations put in place in central Montreal boroughs. DeNormanville house is part of a first wave of protection-era additions exploring new avenues for more modest transformation of the city’s ubiquitous one-storey typology. The project responds in a relatively radical way and with limited financial means to the principal challenges of designing a front yard addition to a small structure of architectural interest.

kitchen by Thomas Balaban Architect

Taking the maximum preservation of the site’s mature Siberian elm trees as its primary point of departure, the intervention is created to delicately weave around the trees in the front yard, and provide a series of new room-sized outdoor spaces. While the old structure now finds itself at the heart of the new home, the project establishes on the street the presence of a one storey house, a gesture that is modest, minimal, and remarkable.


dining room by Thomas Balaban Architect

DeNormanville House by Thomas Balaban Architect

interior design by Thomas Balaban Architect

courtyard, Thomas Balaban Architect

DeNormanville House by Thomas Balaban Architect

DeNormanville House by Thomas Balaban Architect

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Cafe Office Shop – A Big City Concept in the Small Town of Markdorf

At the end of last year, Knoblauch, the furnishing and shopfitting specialist from Markdorf, opened the new cafe office shop. As the unusual sounding name suggests, the 1500-square metre area consists of three parts

Old country house renovated by Mide Architects

This old country house is located in Lucca, Italy, and was recently renovated by Mide Architects. Description by Mide Architects: The project site involves an...

Breakspears House in South East London / Gruff Limited

The new Breakspears house provides a family home with bright, naturally lit spaces that plays with the contrasting qualities and layouts of traditional and modern houses.

Corten Extension for Family Home in Warsash / Adam Knibb Architects

Adam Knibb Architects were approached to design a contemporary house extension in Warsash. The clients lead a very active lifestyle based near the waterfront, and looked for an inventive solution to their needs, opening up the interiors and bringing the family together.

Alpine Terrace House Float in the New Zealand Mountains

The Alpine Terrace house is a cluster of simple blackened buildings set around a courtyard. The cluster is sited on a sloping terrace surrounded by mountain ranges overlooking the Wakatipu Basin in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

Sol Retreat in Phoenix / The Ranch Mine

Sol retreat is a new build house on a vacant lot in the Willo Historic District in midtown Phoenix. Inspired by the southwestern urban vernacular of the courtyard house, we designed the home to both embrace and escape the sun and the city.