Architecture firm Naturehumaine has been transforming residences across Montreal with a modernism that has been influenced by Japan’s no-holds-barred approach.
Here are five examples of the studio’s work.
“The question of heritage is important in modern architecture,” says Stéphane Rasselet in the context of the Dulwich Residence. The 1920s house was appended with a stone and steel extension that highlights and complements the red brick of the original. A glazed volume in between eases the distinction and houses a light-flooded stairwell.
This former duplex in Rosemont has surprises at every turn, from vibrant-coloured panels on the rear facade to a glass-floored hallway, exposed-wood beams and tiled feature walls. Skylights and voids shoot light through the core.
In Notre Dame de Grâce, Naturehumaine broke down the back wall of a mid-century and rebuilt it out with 10-foot walls of glass. The rear is now exposed to the garden, and yet inside there are intimate zones for quiet meditation.
One of the studio’s first small projects, the Berri Residence explored the idea of transparency pioneered by architects in Tokyo. Almost entirely open to the back garden, the Berri project leaves little to the imagination, but the clients craved the light for their new dining room and were delighted with the results. The open bedroom benefits from its location slightly below garden level.
Naturehumaine took a former duplex in Montreal’s Plateau and converted the upstairs unit into a bedroom community that juts out into the garden. Though little was altered at street view, the rear is nearly entirely glazed. Peekaboo windows in the interior walls draw light into the heart of the home, and a clever staircase incorporates most of the storage.
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