Posted: 02 Mar 2013 06:18 AM PST
Along the calm street that lined with trees and 1960s bungalows, stood a newly re-constructed modern single family house designed by Rene Desjardins that easily blend to its bungalow landscape.
Restrict by the municipality laws and regulations, the original structures was allowed to be demolished but the new building must follow the original building height which was only two storey.
One floor, a long façade, a double-pitched roof; that the designer solutions for the challenges set by the by-laws and the owner. No one would ever think that behind the simple long facade hide a generous volumes on three levels. The slope of the roof at the back of the house, invisible from the street, was raised to recuperate space under the rafters. And the basement, excavated to below the water table, was given extraordinary height, to become an attractive living space. Liveable space was created under the roof of the garage, and the tight spaces of the former ground floor gave way to a wide-open space, worthy of an industrial loft.
The ground floor foyer sets the tone. It is generous and unadorned, with the garden on the horizon and a spectacular staircase in anthracite iron lace. Because of the almost museum-like simplicity of the space, the sense of well-being is immediate, while the unity achieved through materials and colours establishes a chic simplicity. The walnut in the floors is carried through in the stair treads, the door frames and occasional tables; the same anthracite stone sheathes the chimney and washrooms; and the effect of the patinated stainless steel is sharpened by the metal bases of the furniture. Set off by the multicoloured carpet, the use of classic black and white is tempered by monochrome warm greys, which has an unexpected effect derived from the ultra-graphic setting. The neutral palette serves to frame signed works by Jim Campbell, Simen Johan, Koka Ramishvili and Marc Seguin, the beginning of a promising art collection. The same can be said for the discrete lighting rails – the sole light source – and the niches, which will eventually house sculptures. In back-lit glass, the niches are repeated on the second floor and fill an entire wall that cuts, like a bolt of lightning, through the "Iron Lace" railing of the gangway leading to the couple's private quarters.
Just as ordered, the ground floor doubles as a living space and a setting for parties. The DJ can set up his gear on the immense island in the kitchen, and there is still room for the bar. Once the table's leaves have been removed and stored away with the chairs in one of the many closets, the space can easily accommodate some sixty people, given the sparse furnishings. Clean design as an incentive to party: it's a hit!
+ Gestion René Desjardins
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