Designed by the firm Blouin Tardif Architecture-Environnement, this residence with an area of 4000 sq. ft. spread over three levels is located on the side of Mont Saint-Hilaire in a deciduous forest. The tripartite composition of the building includes a mineral base (exposed concrete walls and floors) on which is placed a volume of wood, itself covered with an imposing roof.
A construction that responds to nature.
The project is oriented along an east-west axis; the long facade facing the street (north side) is made up of a series of controlled openings. These create a set of roasted wood panels. On the south side, the building opens onto the forest, revealing grandiose views of nature while making it possible to take advantage of sunlight during the cold seasons. Functionally, roof overhangs cover terraces and balconies, protect the building envelope and serve to block out the summer sun. The layout takes advantage of the topography of the land. The lower level then becomes a garden level with generous openings.
Photo credit: Steve Montpetit
A long wooden wall without opening acts as a signal for the main entrance to the building. This is protected by a large cantilevered roof. The garage door is positioned laterally to minimize its visual impact. In the center of the house, the fireplace block, made up of zinc panels and stained wood in a color reminiscent of tree bark, serves as an anchor point for the various functions of the residence; The large living room, the dining room, the catwalk, and the master bedroom are attached to it. The living room, a double-height volume, extends towards the forest through a deep terrace. On the upper level and in contact with the double-height, a reading space takes the form of an eagle's nest where the windows frame the view towards the top of the mountain.
The floors of the lower level and the ground level are of polished concrete. The radiant heating system integrated into these floors takes advantage of the thermal mass of the concrete and solar gains. The energy performance of the project is ensured not only by the geothermal system and passive solar strategies but also by an envelope offering thermal resistance 25% more efficient than the standards currently in force. In addition, motorized solar shades integrated into niches in the ceiling serve to reduce the overheating caused by the spring sun before the foliage arrives.
The search for simplicity and uniformity of materials is expressed throughout the project. The pure forms of the building are paired with materiality responding to the character of the site; the presence of wood for exterior wall cladding, exterior ceilings, and soffits, bare foundation concrete, polished concrete floor. Finally, the relationship with the external environment is accentuated by the continuity of several elements going from the inside to the outside; the fireplace, the wooden ceilings, the concrete slab of the main level becoming an outdoor terrace.
Photo credit: Steve Montpetit
Architects: Blouin Tardif Architecture-Environment
Design team: Alexandre Blouin (responsible partner), Isabelle Beauchamp (project manager), Jonathan Trottier, Hicham Elfakir
Structural engineers: Gauthier Consultants
General contractor: Patrick St-Onge
Mechanical: Excel Air conditioning
Lighting consultant: Quartz
Project Location: Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada
Land area: 25,000 sq.ft.
Building area: 4000 sq.ft. / 3 floors
Photographer: Steve Montpetit