Things are never what they seem, and especially in the age of restorative architecture and historical conservation, it is nearly impossible to judge an old home by its outward appearance. Located in Mont-Royal, Montreal, is an 1855 residential home with a modern extension designed by Montreal-based Architecture Microclimat.
This modern extension begins with two new large openings in an existing brick wall facing the rear garden. This expansion is a transitional space that bridges the old to the new by introducing a new flow of movement.
To emphasize this architectural flow is an elegant, open riser, steel-framed staircase. This staircase is adjacent to the new grand windows acting as a filter from the interior to exterior space. Utilizing the existing windows, they provide a new interior framed view of the staircase.
The adjustment of the main staircase within in the home allows for a re-shuffling of interior space, opening up the floor plan. This new openness revitalizes the modernity in the kitchen and dining area. The kitchen is elongated with no visible barriers to the dining area - making it perfect to host guests and promote lively kitchen chats!
Soft white oak finishes line the kitchen cabinets and floors. This creates a seamless and cohesive appearance complimented with an ice-white island counter. Small colour accents in furniture make this minimal interior design pop with life.
Taking advantage of the mature trees outside, this widely transparent space still maintains privacy - enough to create a work nook on the second floor - in-between the existing and new extension!
On the top is a slightly cantilevered and angled third floor. This top volume contains the master bedroom, and although it uses the same natural finishes, the accent is demonstrated through a built-in window niche in vibrant red. This window banquette is strategically placed to maximize views by being angled towards the backyard while still layered behind the grand trees outside.
Architecture Microclimat has successfully proved us that we should "never judge a book by it's cover" especially when it comes to architecture! They have designed a modern extension that delightfully contrasts its traditional exterior, retaining its neighbourhood context while reinventing the interior and rear outdoor space to today's contemporary living! Now that's a win-win in my book!
Be sure to check out more of Architecture Mircroclimat's modern work!
Photos courtesy of Architecture Microclimat.
Researched and Written by Crystal Yung, Architectural Studies, University of Waterloo.