Turquoise staircase creates diagonal stripes across Quebec home by Architecturama

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A turquoise staircase runs diagonally across the facade of this cube-shaped home in rural Quebec, designed by Montreal studio Architecturama (+ slideshow).

Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama

Called the Lake Jasper House, the dwelling is situated on a wooded, hillside property in the Canadian town of Chertsey. The compact house encompasses 80 square metres across three square storeys.

Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama

"The owners were looking for a relaxed, welcoming environment, conceptually similar to a cottage yet more refined, particularly in the relationships among spaces and between people," said Architecturama.

"The goal was to have a present, living and enthusiastic architecture that engages the senses."

Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama

The home has a concrete frame, and is clad in white cedar and glass. "The white cedar tongue-and-groove siding, sourced from a local sawmill, was left in its natural state," the firm noted.



On the southern elevation, the architects placed an exterior staircase with a wooden blue railing that crosses the glazed facade. "It turns 90 degrees on the east side and penetrates inside the house," the architects said.

Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama

The house's most dominant feature is a modular bench system made of wood and metal, which the architects developed especially for the project.

Conceived as "movable blocks," the modular units can serve as seating, end tables, back rests, steps or even room partitions.

Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama

The architects used the system to form the exterior staircase and bleacher-style seating within the double-height living room, which also includes a fireplace, a movie projector and seating cushions.

Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama

"Bleacher-style benches, meeting at right angles, are built into the main space," the firm explained. "They are simultaneously oversized furniture: an agora, a circulation area, filters, dividers, bookshelves and structural elements."

"At the top, the benches make it possible to enjoy the view while maintaining physical and visual continuity with the ground."

Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama

The benches were also used in other areas of the home – they form food preparation areas in the kitchen, and also create a dining table with enough space to seat up to eight people.

Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama

The system's slim columns are meant to resemble "trees in the forest", the firm said.

The interior of the home is divided into two programmatic areas. Private rooms are clustered on the north, while more communal areas – such as the living room – are situated on the south.

Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama

The south-facing glass facade also enables sweeping views while maximising solar heat gain in the winter.

"A large overhang, designed to make use of the changing angle of the sun, prevents overheating in summer while admitting as much winter sunlight as possible," the firm added.

Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama

Other recent residential projects in Quebec include Le Bic House by Naturehumaine and the KL House by Bourgeois Lechasseur Architects.

Photography is by James Brittain.

Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama
Diagram – click for larger image
Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama
Site plan – click for a larger image
Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama
First floor plan – click for larger image
Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama
Second floor plan – click for larger image
Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama
Section one – click for larger image
Maison Lac Jasper by Architecturama
Section two – click for larger image
  • Guest

    They’ve made their statement. Now they’ve got to live with it. Good luck.

  • sam

    The pillows make it homey.

  • Leo

    Words fail me. Yes, good luck to the owners.

  • Urban Commentary

    OH MY GOD! What is this ?! I’m feeling distressed just looking at the pictures of the internal space.

  • CadBaboon

    The classic ‘nine-square cube’ student project made real. The beautiful colonnaded façade follows the ancient laws of proportion, while the interior breaks every rule of space planning. Very interesting.

  • Nick

    I can’t believe no one mentioned to them along the way that this was an absolutely awful idea!

  • Peter Eisenmänn

    I love it.

  • Jess Thinkin

    “While admitting as much sunlight as possible.” AND THEN, promptly intercepting, obstructing, absorbing and deflecting that said sunlight as soon as it unsuspectingly enters the confines of the building with as many vertically and horizontally assembled pieces of framing lumber as possible, although, still providing just enough space (literally and figuratively) for a slightly smaller than average sized human to stand, and perhaps move, without colliding into some component of our monkey-barred contrivance.

  • Misha

    Don’t be so selfish guys! I’m sure it was exactly what client wanted and for sure he is extremely happy with the result, and will successfully use it for his needs.