Naturehumaine add maple and steel staircase to 1960s house

Angular shapes have been sliced out of the planks of smooth maple that encase a staircase at the centre of this Montreal renovation by Naturehumaine (+ slideshow).

Closse Residence by Naturehumaine

The staircase forms part of a refurbishment of a 1960s family home, named Closse Residence, by local studio Naturehumaine.

Situated in the suburban area of Saint-Lambert in Montreal, the pitched-roof property was originally designed by the client's father, but after 50 years was in need of modernisation.

Closse Residence by Naturehumaine

The architects opened up the plan by removing partition walls and added the new staircase to create a focal point for the space. They also restored the exterior, adding a new steel roof and dormer for an upper floor bathroom.

Closse Residence by Naturehumaine

"The existing geometry of the house is dominated by its large gable roof, so the idea for the stair was to work with a triangular geometry," studio architect Stephane Rasselet told Dezeen.

Closse Residence by Naturehumaine

"The stair is visible from outside the house where its relationship with the roof can be viewed."

Closse Residence by Naturehumaine

Large glazed patio doors inserted in the south facade provide exterior views of the staircase. The house also features an L-shaped porch, supported at its outer edge by a row of slim black columns and at its inner edge by the brick and timber walls, and a tall stone chimney stack.

Closse Residence by Naturehumaine

The angular maple veneer enclosure for the staircase has two frosted and clear glass inserts, and the stairs have black steel balustrades and wide maple treads.

Closse Residence by Naturehumaine

"The stair acts as a lantern, lighting the dining area with the use of recessed lighting and frosted glass," said Rasselet.

Closse Residence by Naturehumaine

To one side of the staircase, a white countertop extends 2.4 metres off the end of a kitchen island to provide a dining table, merging the preparation and eating spaces.

Closse Residence by Naturehumaine

A larger dining table sits in front of a stone wall with a restored corner fireplace.

Closse Residence by Naturehumaine

Panels of mirror are used throughout the space to maximise the light from the large black-framed windows, but downstairs the original basement has been left intact.

Closse Residence by Naturehumaine

"One of the client's demands was to keep the basement untouched and exactly as how his father had built it. A serious contrast with the rest of the house," said Rasselet. "Even now when the parents come visit, they enjoy spending time in the basement reminiscent of their past."

Closse Residence by Naturehumaine

Photography is by Adrien Williams.

Closse Residence by Naturehumaine
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Closse Residence by Naturehumaine
First floor plan – click for larger image
Closse Residence by Naturehumaine
Section – click for larger image