Geometry in Black / Yiacouvakis Hamelin architectes

© Francis Pelletier
© Francis Pelletier

Architects: YH2_Yiacouvakis Hamelin architectes
Location: Saint-Hyppolite, Québec,
Design team: Benoit Boivin, Marie-Claude Hamelin, Loukas Yiacouvakis
Client: Jean Mathieu
Builder: Martin Lachance
Project area: 1,850
Project year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Francis Pelletier & Loukas Yiacouvakis

site plan
site plan

In the Laurentians, a dense forest on a slight hill, down-turns into the expansion of a small river. Through the trees, the body of a black building is divided into three blocks linked by glass passageways. Three blocks of a home, mid-level from each other, are all in direct contact with the earth. Three blocks of proper identity, offering intimacy between each and open to nature:

  • An entry block, open on two levels and includes the adolescents quarters and family room
  • A daytime block, central space, friendly, opens onto the terrace
  • A private block, owners suite, isolated from the rest of the home
ground floor plan
ground floor plan

On the north side of the house, a large section of bent corten connects the blocks together while defining a series of outdoor settings, always against the light. The chiaroscuro of the forest while both inside and outside the home, the black / white / orange / rust / bark / shadow / light / transparency / opacity.

Architecture of meeting and superposition of different geometrical shapes without stable parallel lines, like the landscape that surrounds it. Fragmented architecture where the geometric part of large oblique lines still allows a large formal union. Partly based in the geometric basis of the concept which dictates each project component, a sort of unwritten contract between architect and client. The modification of each element having a direct influence on the others, we can’t enlarge or reduce a block in height and plan without enlarging or reducing other areas of the house.

© Loukas Yiacouvakis
© Loukas Yiacouvakis

This geometry which is both fragmented and linear makes the project a strong spatial experience, allowing direct and variable contact with the landscape. It is this angular part, made of dark and raw materials that unites the house to nature, like a rock that emerges from the ground. A forgotten shipwreck at the heart of the forest.

Cite: "Geometry in Black / Yiacouvakis Hamelin architectes" 23 Oct 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • Nikko Deg

    RT @archdaily Geometry in Black / Yiacouvakis Hamelin architectes

  • Architecture+Molding

    Geometry in Black / Yiacouvakis Hamelin architectes: © Francis Pelletier Architects: YH2_Yiacouvakis Hamelin ar..

  • josep

    tectonically is good but boy those spaces are hideous!

  • arhitectura

    Geometry in Black / Yiacouvakis Hamelin architectes: © Francis Pelletier Architects: YH2_Yiacouvakis Hamelin ar..

  • anavic

    I’m not sure but… I think the section is wrong. Check out the stairs on the right. Confusing, maybe there are more stairs that doesn’t appear on the plant and that’s why I’m confused..

  • Foster

    Hideous spaces? People here always try to depreciate nice projects. You should think a little bit outside the box, that project is a superb example of a strong concept and elegant materials, and yet simple lines and clear distribution of the rooms

    • J

      i agree,
      its a very interesting planning. 3 distinct spaces connected by the transitional stairs. i like the fact that the linearity is broken down into 3 blocks, whereby each block can be read as its own entity within nature and 4 sides of each fragment is exposed to the natural surroundings, yet the corten steel brings it all together. the materiality also enhances that connection with nature… delightful….

  • Charles

    J’adore ce projet, bravo à toute l’équipe. Il y a une fluidité remarcable entre les trois blocs. De plus, il y a beaucoup d’angle dans les formes de cette résidence, mais ils semblent tous s’intégrés naturellement.

    J’aime aussi voir cette masse d’acier cortène s’intégrer à la forêt.

  • Miloš Milovanović

    Geometry in Black / Yiacouvakis Hamelin architectes | ArchDaily (via feedly)

  • cad

    I still don’t get why design angular spaces then put boxy furniture in them.

  • Chad Greer

    interesting geometries in a remote home: (via @archdaily)

  • Christiane

    Now this is the house I want in the middle of the forest

  • john avlakiotis

    To me this is beautiful. I love the materials & the relationship with the woods.

  • Amit

    I like the concept and the design. i wonder hoe it will look in the winter…

  • Andrew Geber

    yes, this is so peaceful

  • christopher

    doesn’t photograph real well. there is probably (hopefully?) much more to it than the images convey. i feel like Francis Pelletier’s photos are trying to get too cute with the forms, and unsuccessfully, shooting from the laying-in-the-front-yard-drunk angle. just shoot the space & show the intent. don’t make fine art out of trapezoids from angles no one can see.

  • João

    totally agree with Foster and john avlakiotis… the plan is simple and clear, and the materials perfectly match the site… congrats…

  • thomas foral

    Geometry in Black / Yiacouvakis Hamelin architectes | ArchDaily –

  • hungdang

    i like lines of the building which are enough to make impression. besides, i also agree with materials that this architect used; they show elegant and integration with landscape around

  • joe signorelli
  • Bob

    Do you need to be a millionaire to have a house like this? How much does it cost to have a architect design this type of house?

  • Johan de Groot
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