This one-of-a-kind house was given the name Dans l’Escarpement because in French the name suggests that it’s “hanging off a cliff", which as you’ll see is quite a suitable name for this residence.
YH2 opened its doors back in 1994 by architects Loukas Yiacouvakis and Marie-Claude Hamelin (Hence the acronym YH2, which stands for Yiacouvakis Hamelin, Architectes). On this particular project, YH2 also collaborated with a design team led by Karl Choquette and Étienne Sédilloton.
Despite the beauty of the location, the steep cliff where Dans l’Escarpement is built had previously dissuaded others from purchasing it. However, for these clients it was an opportunity, where on acquisition they asked YH2 to blend the 3,200 square-foot residence into the hill leaving the surrounding nature intact.
As you can see from the image above, this property is designed around two concrete “boxes”, one being vertical, and the other, horizontal, with a fully glassed-in 3-storey portion that was integrated with both.
The home is considered to be "hanging off a cliff" because of its unique design shape, appearing to be dangling above the escarpment.
The main entrance to the home, as well as the private master suite, are both located on the top level, while one level below is an office/library which sits across from the kitchen and dining area.
The single-level horizontal box is located just a few meters away from the vertical one, sitting directly on the forest grounds and connects to the sauna and spa area (on the bottom floor) from the outside.
YH2 explains that the central level is the real “heart of the house” because the windows showcase the dense forest that surrounds it. Personally, I also really love how the living and dining area on this level can expand outside onto the rooftop of the guest suite, which reveals a peaceful terrace.
To take advantage of the surrounding landscape and natural sunlight, YH2 includes lots of windows around the property. As well, rich mahogany was chosen for the interior of the home to reflect the multitude of trees just outside the doorstep.
As seen below, to access the property, you have to walk along the steel & wood bridge that is attached from the driveway, which almost makes the place feel like a secluded treehouse!
The land that surrounds this hanging house is in an area of Quebec known for its breathtaking scenery and lakes, making it an ideal Canadian cottage. This area definitely offers the residents peace, quiet, and privacy, and lots of outdoor adventures (I could only imagine the beautiful hikes that you can go on).
According to the map, the area of Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carré is about a 15-minute drive from Mont Tremblant which is a popular Canadian tourist destination. The area of Mont Tremblant is famous for its ski slopes and stunning views of the Laurentians.
With such easy access to nature, I suspect the owners must love the outdoors, making it a perfect getaway for any nature-lover. YH2 did an amazing job designing this home while considering the setting and site, cliff and all!
To learn more about this project by YH2 and their other work, visit YH2.
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All photos courtesy of YH2.
Researched and Written by Kara Scerri, Graduate from York University, and Sheridan College, Ontario