Sometimes the best design takes the best of the past and reinvents it with a twist.
What I really like about the Dulwich Residence is the great blending of the variety of materials used in the structure. The 1920’s red-bricked home on a large lot in Montreal’s South Shore was intervened and extended by Montreal-based architecture firm _Naturehumaine. The contemporary structure blends and harmonizes beautifully with the existing structure by highlighting and exposing the structural brick. Much of the structural brick walls are used in the interior and the exterior of the structure bringing a sense of warmth into the home. The variety of materials used in the structure ranges from the original red brick to the hardwood deck, steel roof and floor-to-ceiling glass panels.
The layout of the space is simply brilliant. The incorporation of double-height ceilings, the visual continuity between spaces like the dining room to the “sleeping basket” upstairs, all bring in amplitudes of natural light into the home. The sleeping basket is a large window that frames a garden; it’s a space of relaxation. Furthermore, in the original red brick structure, the entry and living room are on the ground floor while the children’s quarters are located on the second floor. In the new addition, the kitchen, dining and the garage rest on the first floor, with the master bedroom, office and sleeping basket upstairs. A children’s playroom is situated in the lower level directly below the kitchen keeping the kids within ear shot. And I love the entry vestibule with its double height ceiling that floods the space with natural light.
Now here’s the detail I really like: an interior red brick wall that extends two floors. The original brick volume supports the steel clad volume that projects into the backyard. I’ve always admired a red brick wall as a warm, homey material that’s often difficult to blend into the interior of a building. Naturehumaine most certainly did an excellent job in marrying the two structures. The white walls, black window frames, and light hardwood elevate this home into an elegant contemporary residence.
Find more of their brilliance at _Naturehumaine.
Type: Single Family House
Intervention: Interior re-organization & extension
Location: 371 ave. de Dulwich, Saint-Lambert, Canada
Area: 2845 square feet
Photo Credit: Adrien Williams
Researched and written by Jay Namkung, Environmental Design student at OCAD University.