Architecture is an experiential art that combines movement, interaction, and playfulness into the design of its spaces. La Grande Passerelle combines a family’s two living spaces through a suspended bridge, otherwise known as The Grand Gateway.
In any project, dealing with the opportunities and constraints of a site is perhaps one of the most exciting and challenging aspects of design. For La Grande Passerelle, Atelier Pierre Thibault integrated an ambient bridge which connects two volumes sloping towards a private lake in the southern region of Quebec.
The architects cleverly arranged the residence into two distinct volumes. The first volume - which faces the road - contains the garage on the street level and below it, a training room facing the private courtyard in the centre. Following the trajectory of the hillside slope, the bridge leads to the second volume of the home containing the entertainment and personal spaces which have courtyard and lake sight lines.
In the second volume. the design team strategically stacked three storeys of spaces including a lower level patio which opens up to a patio facing the pristine lake, on which a roof terrace is situated on top.
The first volume - which contains the garage - buffers the dwelling from the street, offering additional privacy and a sound barrier from vehicular traffic. The suspended bridge between the two structures has a wall of fenestration, reinforcing the architectural rhythm of the dwelling while affording nature vistas of the forested landscape. I like the ambiguity of the bridge, which prompts one to stroll down its well-scaled wood corridor to discover what lies beyond.
Nestled within a clearing of trees, the minimal white walls and wood floors and ceiling serve as a harmonious - and understated - backdrop to its compelling picturesque setting.
What I love about the neutral interior is how it shifts the eye outside to its setting, which must be spectacular through the seasons. How amazing it must be to see the changing colours of nature's foliage in the Autumn, or the bright elemental crispness of a winter snowscape from these windows.
The panoramic views are visible from any space in the home, including the patio, and the roof terrace which offers 360 degree views of the property. The entire residence is a large gateway for light, flowing and dancing through the spaces of the home. The circulation and interaction of the building with its site is magical and inviting, and is nothing short of playful.
This project is pure Atelier Pierre Thibault, whom always successfully connect people and place through the power of their architecture. This studio always embraces the Quebec landscape to their compositional advantage, designing their buildings to elevate the views with the structure harmoniously. It's a true reflection of our Canadian vernacular.
All photos courtesy of Maxime Brouillet.
To see more projects like this, visit Atelier Pierre Thibault's website.
Did you enjoy these posts on Atelier Pierre Thibault Architectes? Here's some of our past Houseporn.ca articles on this amazing studio:
This article was researched and written by Emily Suchy, Undergraduate Student of Architecture at the University of Toronto.