Montreal Brick House / Natalie Dionne Architecture

Montreal Brick House Natalie Dionne Architecture

Project: Montreal Brick House
Architects: Natalie Dionne Architecture
Design team: Natalie Dionne, Rosemarie Faille-Faubert, Corinne Deleers and Martin Laneuville
Contractor: P.A. construction
Engineer: Conception structurale Donald Arsenault
Cabinetmaker: Segabo design
Location: de Gaspé Avenue, Villeray, Montreal, QC, Canada
Area of project: 1 850 ft2/171.9 m2
Project end date: Fall 2019
Photographer: Raphaël Thibodeau

Montréal is known for its lively neighborhoods and its traditional streets, lined with two- and three-story row houses. Often built in the first half of the 20th Century, these homes no longer correspond to today’s lifestyles. In the hope of preserving this urban heritage, a number of architects are now attempting to give these homes a new lease on life.

dining room, Natalie Dionne Architecture

Newly renovated, the Montreal Brick House is located on de Gaspé Street, near the popular Jean-Talon Market. The in-depth transformation bears the signature of Natalie Dionne Architecture. The program involved turning what was once a three-unit building into a generous single-family home. Interiors were opened up, light was brought in, and the yard was turned into a convivial room.
Montreal Brick House Natalie Dionne Architecture

The architectural intervention is easily understood from the back of the building. Although their initial intention was to preserve the façade’s main elements, the architects had no choice but to replace the brick entirely. This gave them the opportunity to integrate more generous openings to the exterior wall. In keeping with the existing typology, four elongated windows were inserted on the upper floor, where the original openings had been. Carefully aligned with the new windows, two sets of folding doors run across the dining and the kitchen area.

Montreal Brick House Natalie Dionne Architecture

A centrally located chimney, no longer in use, becomes an esthetical object, which reinforces the composition of the symmetrical façade while adding a touch of fantasy to it. With its brick, left apparent inside and outside, the chimney becomes a link between the past and the present, the old and the new.

Montreal Brick House Natalie Dionne Architecture

The ground floor was transformed into a vast living area while the upstairs was redesigned to accommodate three bedrooms and a large bathroom area. The architects’ most theatrical gesture was to introduce a two-story volume above the dining area. As a result of this move, the master bedroom and the upstairs bathroom appear to be floating over the ground floor. A small “balcony” was inserted between both volumes.

Montreal Brick House Natalie Dionne Architecture

Interior openings generate a series of unexpected views towards the dining area, the backyard and the nearby alley. The careful positioning of the upstairs partitions ensured fluidity and transparency from one space to another. Skylights installed in previous times on the roof were totally revamped bringing natural light over the central staircase and the upstairs bathroom.

bedroom, Natalie Dionne Architecture

Materials
The white walls contrast with the strong presence of brick, concrete and wood surfaces. The dark shades of the walnut floors and furnishings, as well as the texture of the chimney provide warmth to the space. The choice of noble materials and a subdued palette bring calm and harmony to the contemporary interiors.

Montreal Brick House Natalie Dionne Architecture

In the kitchen and dining area, the continuous floor is polished concrete, which blends into the stone pavers of the adjacent terrace when the windows fold open. The backyard thus becomes an integral part of the home’s living spaces, particularly during the long summer nights when family and friends rally around.

bathroom, Natalie Dionne Architecture

The traditional shed disappears into the perimeter fence, its grey tone recalling the nearby terrace. Freed from built elements, the yard is ready to be turned into a fanciful flower garden or vegetable plots. The back alley, another one of this neighborhood features, is accessed through a large sliding door.

bathroom, Natalie Dionne Architecture

The Montreal Brick House is meant as an ode to Montréal’s rich residential heritage. It shows how traditional houses found everywhere in Montréal can be adapted to new realities. It also is a virtuoso demonstration of Natalie Dionne Architecture’s ability to make architecture a true celebration of space and light.

Montreal Brick House Natalie Dionne Architecture

dining room, Natalie Dionne Architecture

brick house

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

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

Stiga Office in Novi Sad by Modelart Arhitekti

The main challenge for the Modelart designers in the projection of Stiga office was the adaptation of the space to a new function. Initially the space was arranged as a tailor shop but once with the arrival of some new investors

Timber House with Gable / mia2/Architektur

„Timber House with Gable“ is located on a slope site on the edge of a small settlement with a beautiful view on Pyhrn-Priel-Region, an alpine region in Upper Austria.

Casa Aglae, Chile / AFARQ Arquitectos

Casa Aglae is our proposal for a weekend house in Santo Domingo, a coastal area located 120 km. from Santiago. The strong winds that predominate in the summer from the west, made us raise the house in parallel to the length of the land, in east-west direction ...