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    Photo credit: James Brittain

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The Power of Three: Hatley House

Jessica Evans
24 Jun 2019

Hatley House, Montreal, designed by Pelletier de Fontenay in collaboration with Francois Abbott

From the nearby dirt road, Hatley House is recognisable for its high-pitched gables, clustered in a unique way with the roofline standing out against the rolling hills. The house was built on a natural plateau and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and countryside. Scattered within the scenery are additional farmhouses, barns and sheds. The structures are significant to the ‘language’ of the place with the house using elements from the original agricultural structures and reinterpreting them abstractly.

The three identical shapes, varying in size and orientation, are connected without intersecting, forming a coherent ensemble. The overall shape of the house changes as you move around it, however, the three surrounding courtyards form a square around the house.

Composed of three wings: the central communal wing, the master wing and the guest wing, the double-height spaces reach up to 8m high with the two smaller wings having more private wooden-clad mezzanines above the bedrooms.

Inside, large windows frame carefully selected views of the agrarian landscape and, along with skylights, fill  the interior with natural light.

The continuous horizontal concrete foundation, the deep timber lattice facade that wraps around the house, and the unified galvanized steel roof, helping to link the volumes together, are just a few of the key structural elements that define the house. These elements unify the architecture, allowing the house to truly be multi-layered. The house is simple and complex, discreet and imposing, introverted yet open, bare but luxurious.

Particularly interested in the relationship between the abstract concepts of architecture and their material incarnations, Pelletier de Fontenay were founded in 2010 and is an architectural practice based in Montreal.

 

Key Facts

Canada
Housing
Architecture

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