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Revitalize the heart of Montreal with contemporary housing

For rent? The poster, stuck on the door, surprises. To see this beautiful building, as we see in magazines, we would rather believe that these are condos with a rather salty bill. Fault…

An old three-story bourgeois house on avenue Laurier has regained its former glory. It is now part of a new set of rental housing designed by a Montreal couple. François Lespérance, architect, and Catherine Tremblay, designer at Tremblay-Lespérance, architecture, bet on the revitalization of the Laurier metro sector by purchasing the 1900 house, which adjoined a 25-foot vacant lot …

In this free space, they saw the opportunity to build a contemporary apartment building, connected to the old building by a mezzanine. At the top, this addition has something majestic. In roasted wood, it turns the heads of passers-by, at the intersection of rue Saint-Denis. “Here, the city encourages contemporary facades. They do not want to mimic neighboring buildings, ”underlines Mr. Lespérance.

The architectural constraint, on the other hand, was quite different: the whole is framed on the right by a two-story building and, on the left, by a triplex. It was therefore necessary to use the same template. For the rest, Mr. Lespérance enjoyed himself: on the facade, he created an asymmetrical structure to contrast with the existing building. Similarly, the choice of materials, such as black brick, contrasts with the old masonry. “The withdrawal from the mezzanine was dictated by the triplex next door. The architectural interventions also came to highlight the old frozen building, lost in the urban context. ”

The materials of the new building, bricks, metal and roasted wood, are much lighter than stone. “I find that these are residential matters. It’s warmer than a masonry wall. ”Two large square niches in roasted wood decorate the new geometric facade. They frame the apartments by playing the role of balcony.

The interior courtyard remains one of the cornerstones of the construction. She is dressed in sheet metal, from head to toe. There are everywhere, so as to make the light reflect in the apartments. Several tests were necessary to find the right material, because there was still a leakage problem. The architect finally opted for slightly iridescent vertical strips in Galvalum, a resistant alloy of steel and aluminum. “Since there is no more sun in the courtyard after 11 am, it’s a way to keep the light on,” added the architect.

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