Canadian studio Naturehumaine inserted a glass floor and skylight to draw sunlight through the interior of this two-storey house in Montreal, and reintroduced wooden boards to make a feature of the staircase.
Naturehumaine renovated and extended the narrow house on 8th Avenue, Rosemount, for a family of four. An extra family room was added on the ground floor with a new master bedroom above, while the rear facade was replaced with a patterned surface of bright yellow and green panels.
The glass floor provides a visual connection between the ground-floor dining room and a hallway above. A skylight of the same size sits directly above - a feature that architect Stéphane Rasselet says the studio often adds to the centre of houses.
"In this case the clients needs didn't allow us to give up the valuable floor area that would be lost with a double-height space, so we added the glass floor below the skylight," he told Dezeen.
The architects retained original structural beams and boards, using them to create a wooden wall flanking the staircase. They also inserted a few into the ceiling void below the skylight.
"Back when this building was built, structural walls were built out of interlocking pieces of solid wood, similar to a log cabin, but with flat faces," said Rasselet. "We like to expose these walls like you would expose an existing brick wall.
"We find our clients like the warmth of the wood, as well as exposing the history of their house, which contrasts with the new contemporary elements," he added.
The existing interior was completely reorganised. The ground floor entrance leads in through a living room to the kitchen and dining area at the centre of the plan, while the new room at the rear opens out to the terrace and garden.
Upstairs, a pair of bedrooms overlook the street in front of the property, while the master bedroom occupies the rear behind the bathroom.
Walls of black bricks extend through the facade, forming both interior and exterior surfaces, while floors feature a mixture of white-painted wooden boards and dark slate tiles.
Photography by Adrien Williams.
Here's a project description from Naturehumaine:
This intervention transformed a residential two storey duplex in Rosemount into a single dwelling unit by completely reorganising the interior and constructing a 430 sqft extension in the rear.
The extension includes a master bedroom on the second floor and a family room that gives onto an intimate garden at ground level. Standing proud on a typical Montreal laneway, the extension acts as a beacon of novelty and dynamism. While little work was done to the front facade, this extension was designed in contrast, with bright colours, an angled form, and generous glazing.
Work on the interior centred on exposing and highlighting the beauty of existing wooden structural walls and beams and supporting them with a more subtle pallet of materials. Natural daylight is brought into the core with a large skylight and glass floor placed at the centre of the house.
Type: Single family house
Intervention: Interior re-organisation and extension
Location: 8th Ave. Montreal, Canada
Area: 1630 sqft