Architects: Bourgeois Lechasseur Architectes
Location: Ste-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, Quebec, Canada
Contractor: Constructions Richard Cliche
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Stéphane Groleau
From the architect. Cabane 217 is a project to completely redesign a home located in Ste-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier. The house is located on a wooded lot bordering the river. The owner wanted to give his home new life by opening it up to its surroundings. The changes also involved completely rethinking the living areas in order to create a dialogue between the outside and the inside. The basic premise consisted of preserving some of the building’s original country character and creating a contemporary project that is in harmony with its environment. The design followed a preliminary LEGO™ model created by the owner.
The steep slope of the roof was kept, but the traditional dormer windows have been transformed. One dormer opens on to the street to shyly reveal the staircase and to provide light to the home’s central space. On the side nearest the river, part of the roof has been raised to accommodate the master bedroom and ensuite bathroom. This second, much larger, dormer creates an airy, bright space. The client was thus able to keep the idea of a “tree house” and still preserve privacy with the surrounding vegetation.
The screen room that stands out from the main part of the building is an addition to the original house. This room has a fireplace and is both intimate and welcoming. This contrast with the spacious rooms and the large deck leads the client into a new relationship with his environment. It provides a threshold between the inside and the outside and frames the view of the site.
The inside is now much brighter with nature all around. The kitchen has been completely renovated. The wood panels and the slate floor respect the natural, warm feel of the place. A new lighter, brighter staircase leads to the upper floor. The bathroom, with its spectacular shower, opens on the master bedroom. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the bedroom give the impression of floating in the trees.
The materials used on the outside integrate well into the region’s natural and built environment. The original wood siding was kept and repainted. The windows are wood like the original ones and seem to flow into the marine plywood panels that extend and define the new elements. The metal roof reflects the sun and calls to mind the traditionally inspired design of this country home.