Tasked with transforming a cottage in Montreal’s Mount-Royal neighbourhood, YH2 (Yiacouvakis Hamelin Architects) employed a brilliant two-part strategy that would lend the project its name: Coupée Croisée ("cut and cross").
The existing structure was cut in two, leaving the front half of the residence intact to comply with strict regulatory constraints by the Mount-Royal municipality. The materials and forms of the existing structure were maintained, while the back half of the property was built completely anew.
The second element, known as "cross" (or in French croisée), comes in the form of a wide wooden walkway that bridges the old and new portions of the structures, creating a path directly from the entrance to the backyard. A double height space where the two paths of the "cross" intersect connects the element with the home’s second floor, where the same dark-toned wood is used throughout the residence.
Along with the continuation of the walkway to the edge of the backyard pool, expansive floor to ceiling windows make for a seamless transition between the indoors and outdoors of this residence. The architects made reference to a shared vision with landscape architect Luu Nguyen, as integral to establishing this sense of unity.
Finding ways to connect the old with the new can be one of the most challenging aspects of a renovation project. YH2 was able to meet this challenge with brio and with a tactic that creates a sense of connection while still acknowledging the two stages of this cottage's evolution. In describing their work, the studio quotes that a "project should adapt to its context while transforming it," - it seems they've done just that.
For more projects that showcase their work, visit YH2's residential portfolio.
Photos courtesy of Francis Pelletier
This article was written by Miranda Corcoran, a multidisciplinary designer based in Toronto, currently completing studies at Ryerson University.