The interestingly named "Altaïr House" was designed by Bourgeois Lechasseur Architectes and is located in Cap-à-l'Aigle, a resort village along Quebec’s Saint-Lawrence River.
Designed for a newly retired client that valued tranquility, Bourgeois Lechasseur Architectes took advantage of the setting and brilliantly closed off the home's façade to the North, ensuring privacy from the street.
In contrast, they utilized glass sliding doors and glazed walls on the South to maximize the fantastic views of the river, the forest, and the city of Malbaie below.
The residence’s form is characterized by two longitudinal prisms clad in grey wood and western cedar. These prisms are then stacked on top of each other at an angle to form a V-shape.
The facades of the structure extend and are suspended out over the natural landscape, creating the allusion to a bird gliding over the landscape.
The main entrance to the house is located on the ground level. The mass of the upper floor projects over the entrance and protects it from the elements.
Inside is bright and spacious with an open plan layout and large windows that visually link the space to the lush green outside.
The décor is simple and stripped-down, featuring concrete flooring and wooden cabinetry and doors.
The lower floor has two wings, one containing three bedrooms, while the other features a living room that connects to an outdoor patio and concrete swimming pool.
The lobby faces a large square window to the south that frames a view of the pool as it seems to stretch out towards the river (see above).
The floors are connected to each other by an inviting and well-lit steel mesh staircase.
The upper floor cantilevers over the sloped site, hanging out above the vacuum and also seemingly gesturing towards the river. This floor contains the living and dining rooms, an open-plan kitchen, as well as the master suite, which is slightly set back in the woods.
The successive arrangement of these spaces sees them flowing seamlessly into one another, each surrounded by black framed, floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a breathtaking view of the horizon.
In the kitchen, light wood cabinetry combines with pristine white walls and countertops for a clean and contemporary look.
This level takes full advantage of its height and features a large window wall that overlooks the pool and surrounding terrain. There is also an expansive wooden deck with glass balustrades built on the roof of the lower floor. An exterior stair leads from here to the backyard below.
Altaïr House provides tranquility and separation from the world while immersing the occupant in nature. The western red cedar that lends itself to the ceilings and finishes, succeeds in bringing a touch of the surrounding rustic warmth into the house. Meanwhile, the spacious terraces provide an ideal place for relaxation and taking in the scenery.
The minimalist and refined use of concrete, wood, and glass throughout the house accentuate the connection between the building and its site. I can definitely see myself settling down and retiring into a home with this kind of character.
I believe that Bourgeois Lechasseur Architectes have created the quintessential getaway home in the Altaïr House. Everything about the design and material choices they made facilitates peace and quiet.
You can check out some more of the amazing projects from Bourgeois Lechasseur Architectes.
The beautiful photographs were captured by the talented Adrien Williams.
Researched and Written by Yinoluwa Olowofoyeku, Undergraduate Student of Architectural Design at the University of Toronto