Quebec residence renovation preserves mid-century esthetic

by arslan_ahmed | August 30, 2023 1:51 pm

Located in Saint-Bruno, on the South Shore of Montreal in Quebec, the Montpellier Residence was renovated, using brick, marble, slate, lime plaster, and wood, exemplifying the mid-century esthetic of the 1960s, to create an interior design backdrop needing limited ornamental elements.

Built in the late 1960s by a local architect, the residence is now listed in the cultural heritage repertoire as an iconic example of mid-century esthetic in Quebec.

The main challenge for the design team was to achieve a significant transformation while preserving the architectural esthetic established by the original architect. The initial mandate focused on renovating the living areas: vestibule, kitchen, dining room, lounges, and powder room. Various interventions were also carried out to improve comfort, such as opening up the kitchen to provide a view of the courtyard and enhance natural light exposure.

The clients expressed their desire for a space that reflects their identity: timeless and one of a kind. They also requested the project’s interior designer, Vives St-Laurent team, stay in the house for a few days to better understand its ambience, light, and functionality.

The project starts in the vestibule, connecting the front and rear courtyards and creating a separation between the day and night areas. Designed to align with the residence’s style, the front door stands out with its oversized, pivot-mounted structure and circular handle, an element which is also echoed in the conception of the kitchen cabinetry.

The slate flooring is restored to preserve its natural and timeless texture. The staircase railing leading to the basement has been repainted in a light shade, matching the contemporary design in the other areas. The skylight and the dark wood ceiling cladding are also preserved—respecting the original finishes.

From the vestibule, two openings lead to the main living areas. The first entrance reveals a seating area and dining room positioned at the front of the house, while the second access leads to a living room and an informal workspace. At the heart of the house, the kitchen takes centre stage, showcasing the Taj Mahal stone island that becomes the focal point of the room.

The cantilevered counter, with its monolithic shape, becomes a statement piece. The unpolished stone surface, in shades of brown and beige, gives character that blends with the selected materials, including the dark stained oak and lacquered cabinets.

A limewash plaster covers the interior partitions and ceiling, adding mineral texture to the space. The customized, light finish contrasts with the surrounding red brick of the main living spaces.

The restoration process involved collaboration between the client and the contractor to find the perfect mortar shade. The sanitary block, covered in dark oak, pays homage to the original wood-clad ceiling of the entrance. The use of natural oak flooring, along with various shades of beige, contributes to the harmony and coherence between the different areas.

“This modern residence, characteristic of North American bungalows, […] stands out with its volumetric interplay and clean lines. Completely clad in brick, the house features no ornamentation, allowing the expressive nature of the materials to take centre stage. The residence consists of three distinct single-story volumes, all connected by a glass corridor,” says the Vives St-Laurent team.

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