A woodland home that takes inspiration from simple Canadian style
The clients on this project spoke of simplicity and an open view of the woods. They wanted a house that "looks like a house." They preferred a more traditional style, reminiscent of Canadian East Coast homes by the sea. They were open to contemporaneity and boldness, even though they wished to retain the traditional country style of North Hatley's early homes. This duality between the traditional and the modern was to guide the architects throughout the design.
The property is bordered by a stream, and the sound of the water is both soothing and inspiring. It is located at the end of a mountainous domain, close to the heart of the village of North Hatley. The winding ‘’Méandres’’ road leads to the property, and the project is nestled in one of its sharp curves.
Upon approach, the house has a strong presence, but its build and size give it a traditional look. Wandering through the property, the cedar seems to step back, allowing the indoors to mingle with the outdoors. It is almost like a boat that has come to rest on the banks of a bend in the river. The house is nestled into the side of the mountain, as if it slid, stopping just before the chasm. The main floor literally opens into the forest, and the upper level seems to float above it.
The KL house's natural cedar siding and tin roof are reminiscent of some of North Hatley's country homes. However, its elongated and streamlined shape contrasts subtly with the older, opulent homes on the shore of the lake. The house, and its adjacent garage, have a simple and well-assumed volumetry and a slanted roof with a small overhang, but this simplicity is destabilized by subtle shaping. The overhanging upper level covers the porch and terrace, protecting the windowed rooms on the main floor from the summer heat.
The absence of mouldings highlights the authentic character of the natural cedar shingles. The trimmed area's smooth cedar planks provide a contrast to the textured shingles. In both cases, cedar shingles were chosen for their orange hue, which adds a touch of warmth to the project. Bold, wide openings along the siding frame the inner scenery.
The entrance hall leads to a bright transition area that opens up vertically, providing a glimpse of the upper level and its cedar ceiling. The living areas flow through an open, longitudinal space that offers a constant view of the forest.
In response to the clients' wishes, the KL house looks "like a house" but also sets itself apart, in all simplicity, by re-interpreting the region's early country homes. It also has a friendly maritime feel, far from the Atlantic.