To suit the needs of a family with four children, Architects Pierre Thibault and Julie Pilote, from Atelier Pierre Thibault, were tasked with extending a 19th century stone farmhouse. The challenge? Merging contemporary elements with traditional ones.
Located in beautiful Lac Brome, Quebec, the design brief to the architects included creating a space which could comfortably accommodate a large family with frequent guests. Building an extension identical in scale and form of the existing building was the solution, hence where the name "jumelle" comes from, meaning "twin" in French.
Built next to the old building, the conversation between the two volumes represents the passage of time, with the entry and circulation space bridging the two buildings. Rather than attempting to hide the transition between old and new, Atelier Thibault encased the new volumes in white washed cedar shakes, allowing the original stone structure to remain the focal point, respectfully grounding its history of place.
There’s something charming, almost childlike, about the exterior profile, a simple pentagon punctuated by square windows. But inside, the material pairings and interplay of volumes make for an elegant space. The abundant use of glass and white materials and walls contrast with the wood and original rough-hewn stone of the old farmhouse, creating an unadorned visually-cohesive space which focuses the sight lines on the views.
On the first level, a large parlour occupies the original structure, while the open kitchen and expansive dining space are located in the extension. Mismatched chairs surround a massive farmhouse table in the double height dining space, a genial nod to the vernacular structure within the new, minimal space.
The architects took advantage of the downward slope of the site to create a lower level containing additional living space, including a guest suite which enjoys sweeping views of the landscape. On the upper level, the children’s bedrooms are situated in the original structure, while the master suite sanctuary is across the 'bridge' in the new addition.
There's something very compelling about structures that are able to celebrate the history of a place while still feeling fresh and modern. In the contrast between the old and new buildings, Atelier Pierre Thibault have created a harmonious cohesive whole that very much reflects our new Canadian vernacular.
To view more projects like this one, visit Atelier Pierre Thibault.
Photos courtesy of Alain Laforest
Researched and written by Miranda Corcoran, an Industrial Design and Digital Media student at OCAD University.