Paul Bernier’s lake house on Lac Grenier, located in Quebec, showcases the interaction between architecture and nature. The modern geometric dwelling meets residential needs without disturbing the delicate balance of the nearby habitats1. Take a look. Wouldn’t you agree the woodland experience is being amplified through the choice of simplistic designs and materials of the structure?
The windows show the beauty of nature throughout the entire house. In fact, the plan was designed in accordance to the particular circumstances of the site, which include an incline on the north side and a stream running across the south side of the structure2. According to the architect, the building acts similarly to a river in its linear curving form, which was created specifically to bend around the already existing trees. The use of glass throughout the dwelling varies among the rooms, as some spaces are meant for observational areas directed towards the lake while others are designed as private living rooms.
The layout begins with a completely wood covered garage and an entrance to the building along the right hand side. Upon entering the foyer, most of the solid walls are replaced with windows which allow natural daylight and exposure to the beautiful forest views. The transparency throughout the house makes it feel as if you are taking a walk in the park!
The lake house appears very minimalist from the interior spaces and instills a feeling of serenity and tranquility. In addition, to create more of a rural experience, the architect has designed wooden features along the contrasting white walls. Doesn't it feel as if the forest is making its way into the building?
The geometrically cut units which include storage, sitting areas, the kitchen island, and the television cabinet, mirror the exterior angles of the structural design3. Although these abstracted installments are prominent pieces within the interior space, they are intended to be minimalistic in order to avoid taking away from the views seen through the windows, specifically located among the south end on the structure where you can see the lake.
There is also a wooden staircase which leads up to a more private space on the second level, which is intended as an private escape. When inside this nook, you may feel as if you are sitting in a tree house, with a unique bird's eye view of the terrain. The green roof and the surrounding trees create a shield around the structure and reduce the heat levels during the warmer seasons4. What an interesting way to experience nature from different angles!
Following the development of the land, the house is designed as an oasis. It provides exceptional views and fulfills residential needs while simultaneously preserving the site. As an architectural studies student, I am particulary drawn to the contemporary elements of the dwelling which embrace the surrounding natural setting.The element of transparency provides unification between the exterior and interior spaces, showcasing the surrounding environment and coexisting with the various ecosystems and vegetation. It is truly the ideal retreat to relax and regenerate among Canadian wildlife!
For more projects by Paul Bernier, visit Paul Bernier Architecte's website.
Interested in seeing more ingenious lake houses? Check out these past articles on houseporn.ca!
All photos courtesy of Adrien Williams
Researched and Written by Karolina Pisanko, Double Major in Architectural Studies, University of Toronto