MONTREAL – Adding to an expansive portfolio of residential architecture, local firm Nature Humaine provides a simple renovation to an end-of-terrace house at the corner of two streets. Complementing the low-key aesthetic of the typical suburban neighbourhood, the majority of the brickwork has been replaced and the original openings are mostly retained. The addition of a third storey brings the building-height level with those in the immediate proximity. ‘The white steel volume that is added on top of the first two levels stands out through both its angular shape and it’s materiality,’ the architect describes.
From Rue Dandurand, the evidence of the renovation is subtle – the cornice mouldings that ornamented the windows have been removed and the iron railings on the balconies replaced with contemporary glass balustrades. By creating a simpler style, the architect provides a modernized aesthetic that resembles a ghost copy of its 1920s design.
Along the longer Fifth Avenue elevation, it becomes more obvious that the overall mass has changed in depth, as well as height. What used to be ‘the house next door’ has been rebuilt as the third apartment, joining the corner unit – split horizontally in two – via an exterior courtyard over what used to be the flat roof of the two-storey residence. The interior has been entirely reorganized to accommodate the three units and the uneven distribution of the building mass creates pockets of light through the interior space, providing a fresh and airy feeling throughout.