4417 Christophe-Colomb / Henri Cleinge


Architect: Henri Cleinge
Location: Montreal,
Client: Stéphane Dion and Éloïse Corbeil
Project Area: 279 sqm
Budget: $800,000
Photographs: Denis Farley



Located on Christophe-Colomb Street in the Plateau Mont-Royal in Montreal, the existing building was originally a ‘cottage’ (word to describe a single family home) which had been converted into a duplex in the early 1970s. Ironically, because the original building dated back to the 1800s and did not align to the other buildings on the street, the renovation did not have to conform to the traditional morphology of the street.


The intention was to create a very contemporary, yet contextual project within the historical Plateau district. In efforts to express the history of the original building, the fir structural components of the existing house walls were recycled as interior cladding on the lateral walls on all three floors. These wood elements were initially carefully removed, then scanned with a metal detector in order to locate and remove all nails. They were then sheared and finally reinstalled on the new walls.


The contemporary and hard lined shell is rendered warm with other natural materials: concrete, hot-rolled steel, walnut, and slate. The house consists on the ground floor of an open area with a double height living space facing the front garden, a dining space, and the kitchen at the back. The garage located behind the kitchen is accessed by the alley. The second floor, intended for the children, includes two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a play area overlooking the living room below. On the third floor, the master bedroom suite opens to a terrace which faces the Mont Royal as well as the front garden.

Cite: "4417 Christophe-Colomb / Henri Cleinge" 17 Sep 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=35194>
  • http://doingdiem.wordpress.com/ diem thuyen

    that’s what i call a makeover! perfect!

    • alfred

      you´re perfect…

  • Doug

    Nicely executed. Great use of salvaged fir from the original structure. Hope there’s money left for some trees in the front garden. An allee of deciduous trees would be beautiful.

  • Kapitonas

    Looks very gently. Would be great to see a longitudinal section.

  • salvadore

    looks good! but i really like the old facade!!! and its children bedroom not children’s…

  • majchers

    Very cool reno!

    I wish the other elevation was also shown…

  • Marie-Christine

    Really nice… I live in Montreal and I’ve seen it… What you don’t see is that from the side, the house is ENORMOUS, it’s really impressive.

    I love the wood on the walls in contrast with the concrete floors… I hope I find awesome wood like that when I renovate a house!

    • majchers

      Any idea Marie-Christine where to find photos of the other elevations?

  • Marie-Christine
    • majchers

      Thank you Marie-Christine. Very valuable info.

      Cheers from Calgary ;-)

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  • mike

    very cool…makeovers are always interesting and I’d love to live in this one!

  • http://www.pierreb.ca PierreB

    looks amazing. its all about having the vision

  • frank Wilson

    Total climax, melting of two bodies into one, old and new, concrete and wood, perfection and imperfection, the way a masterpiece is supposed to be, defiant, sensual, aggressive, what a great moment of intimacy….

  • http://www.garalysoka.com oscar falcón lara

    How cool, they renovated and rescued and totally empowered this little building, I think they did a magnificent job in giving new life to it. Nice.

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