Montreal-based firm la SHED architecture has transformed a typical 90’s bungalow into a contemporary residence. Located on a vast wooded site, the ‘Maison Terrebonne’ was built on the same foundation as the original house and kept one of its main characteristics: split levels. Despite the small 1500 square foot living space, this one-person residence offers large open areas with an abundance of natural lighting.
The new construction features three split levels, each designed with a distinct set of functions that help establish a clear hierarchy between private and common areas. These zones are designed to be very open in relation to each other and are only divided by the threshold created by the flights of stairs.
The main floor has direct access to the carport and contains the entrance vestibule as well as a small office with view to the outdoors. Upon entry visitors are guided to the second level where the more social areas are included. The staircase features a large window that offers a stunning view of the woods surrounding the back of the house.
The kitchen is organized around a large wooden island that creates a lovely contrast against the white walls. Along the large bay window adjoining the kitchen can be found the dining and living rooms.
At the crossroads of all these levels is located a pure white block that naturally reinforces the intimacy between zones and around which gravitates circulation within the home. This block has a powerful effect on the upper portion of each level as a result of it being unattached to the ceiling, which allows for both an unobstructed line of sight and opulent natural lighting.
The staircase and corridor leading to the owner’s private suite on the top level are located behind this central block and have a view on the inferior levels. Inside the cube and accessible only from the bedroom is a hidden bathroom designed with simple, clean lines.
Though without a door, intimacy is preserved by the configuration of walls leading to the bathroom. Inside the bathroom, floor and walls are covered in a pearl white glass mosaic and it is modestly furnished with two white minimalist blocks, bathtub and vanity.
In order to accentuate the furniture’s monolithic appearance, doors with a smooth matte finish were placed on either side to avoid creating divisions at the front, while a Corian sink was moulded into the counter above. A thin setback kick space creates the impression that it isn’t attached to the floor while giving the bathroom a sense of space and lightness.
The bedroom is located at the very back and opens partially to the living spaces below. In order to limit visibility from the outside into this room, windows were voluntarily limited in height and therefore create long strips of light. At the rear, the room extends towards the woods by way of a loggia. From here the surrounding natural environment can be viewed without any obstacles thanks to the transparency of the glass railing barrier.
The exterior is covered in natural eastern cedar siding that will fade over time to eventually further bear a resemblance to the bark of trees in the surrounding woods. Simple openings surrounded by black frames serve to punctuate the sheer volume of the house. The former garage has been replaced with a covered parking space that’s open on either end, creating a sense of transparency.
Name of the project: Terrebonne House
Location: Terrebonne, Québec, Canada
Architect: la SHED architecture
Project end date: October 2014
Photographer: Maxime Brouillet
*All images and information courtesy of v2com.