Project Name: The Break Residence
Architect / Designer: MU Architecture
Team: Jean-Sébastien Herr, Charles Côté, Magda Telenga, Andrée-Anne Godin, Emilie Vinet Gagnon, Baptiste Balbrick
Cabinet Maker: Illo
Structural engineer: MA-TH
Contractor: Construction Metric
Furniture: Element de Base
Landscape: Artis Paysage
Location: Saint-Hyppolite, Quebec, Canada
Completion date: September 2022
Area: 6700 sq. ft.
Photos: Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard
Courtesy of MU Architecture
Built on the shore of Lake Revdor, in Quebec’s Laurentians region, the Break Residence reveals different faces, depending on whether it is discovered from the water or the ground. Encapsulating the idea of “home,” this luxurious residence aids in fulfilling a man’s wish to build his final home on the land of his ancestors. Opening itself up over three levels, this spacious home serves as a place of welcoming and gathering for a small community formed by the few neighbouring houses.
A House with two faces
The ambitious program, combined with a particularly narrow lot, required the construction of a new house in the place of an existing one. On the street side, the residence has several interlocking volumes that resemble a series of rocks. The sloping topography reveals only two levels from the street, hiding the garden level that provides access to the lake on the opposite side.
The sculptural main entrance lies under a double story canopy, chiselled between the rock-like volumes to create a warm and inviting environment that serves as the heart of the home. The openings expose circulation and gathering spaces of the residence, emphasizing the conviviality of the place.
On the lake side, the residence exhibits a completely different personality; open and extroverted. With its amplified roof overhangs and angled soffits’ golden accents, which reflect the ripples and movement of the lake below, the house seemingly spreads its sails into the wind.
Raw materials serving its beauty
As one enters the house, calm and comfort govern. Bathed in light throughout the day, and wide open to the lake, the residence comprises a distinguished and contemplative character. The mineral nature of the selected materials within the interior architecture contribute to this peacefulness.
At the heart of the Break residence, a stone wall stands like a mast, acting like an anchoring element for the house. Part space separator, part unifying architectural element, it accommodates three fireplaces and unifies three different levels. Present both inside and outside, this wall adopts the same language as the soffits, transposing the interior and exterior character. As such, these fluid and graceful gestures provide coherence and strength to the project.
Each material was thoughtfully and carefully selected. The expressive veining of the quartzite, with lines invoking the colour of water, the texture of the slate, the warmth of the oak and maple furniture, the maple flooring, and the western Canadian hemlock ceiling, combine to promote timeless architecture where the patina of both stone and wood form the base on which the house stands, will grow old, and will gain beauty.
Here, space and luxury are at the service of hospitality. Accessible by an elevator, each level has a service area, a coffee station, and a bar. In addition, each room has its own bathroom and balcony. The residence is punctuated with small, contemplative lounges and boudoirs where one can relax and enjoy the serenity of the spaces and their breathtaking views.
Like the rock onto which one drops an anchor, the residence is an ode to hospitality, generosity, comfort, and the beauty of nature and all of its elements.