This house in Montreal by Canadian studio naturehumaine has a facade of dark brickwork, while its rear elevation is clad with steel panels that are divided into separate black and white sections (+ slideshow).
Montreal-based naturehumaine gave the building a brick facade so it would fit in with the typical houses of the surrounding neighbourhood, but created a contrast at the rear by adding steel panels that help to visually separate the two main floors.
The bricks used for the facade are glazed on one side, so the architects positioned some facing forwards and others facing backwards to create a random pattern.
Named Alexandra Residence, the three-storey house was built as the home for family of four, but it also contains a small home office.
"The project was built for and by a contractor who we work with often," architect David Dworkind told Dezeen. "He wanted a live/work building for his young family of four that he could also run his contracting business out of."
The family requested a lot of natural light in their home, so naturehumaine inserted a lightwell along the southern side of the house that allows daylight to filter in as it bounces off the wall of the top-floor office.
"In an effort to bring light into the lightwell of the house, we came up with the concept of the 'white box' which runs east-west and reflects the southern sun light back into the house," said Dworkind.
The entrance to the house is positioned parallel to an open-plan kitchen. This space flows through into a dining area and living room beyond, which opens out to a patio overlooking the back garden.
A wooden staircase leads up to the first floor, where a trio of bedrooms are arranged around a central bathroom.
Photography is by Adrien Williams.
Here's a project description from naturehumaine:
The client's priority was to maximise the natural light in their new live/work house in Montreal’s Mile-Ex district. This was made challenging by the east-west orientation of the infill lot. However, our design fills even the core of the house with light through the implementation of a 2 storey light-well which runs the length of the southern side of the house.
Additional light is reflected into this light-well by the client's office space - a white volume that sits atop the northern edge light-well. Spaces on the second storey also benefit from the light well's luminosity; the walls adjacent to it are fully glazed and a floor to ceiling piece of frosted glass brings a very soft light into the bathroom.
The expressive back facade of the house is defined by the angular geometry of the floating steel box. The front facade, however, is composed primarily of bricks to conform with the heritage character of the neighbourhood.
Two disjointed apertures break up the brick façade and are lined in aluminium. As only one side of the brick was glazed, a random mix of forward and backward facing bricks were laid to create a more dynamic façade.
Type: Live/work house
Intervention: New construction
Location: Alexandra Ave, Montreal, Canada
Area: 3300 sqft
Completion Date: 2013