Compiled by Pari Syal
Photography: Jean Verville, Nancy Marie Bélanger, Hugo Didier; courtesy the architect
Defying the straight-lined assemblage of four walls and a roof above, this residence in Greenfield Park, Montreal, is a sculptural composition that spreads in simple geometrical forms giving rise to a series of optical illusions...
Architect Jean Verville's proposition of the division of volumes suggest a singular perspective and dynamic volumetrics that present a sensitive integration of contemporary architecture to a district dating from the 50s. Harmonizing in size, colour and profiles with the sloping roof houses of the sector, the new construction is enveloped in a white wood cladding.
Contrasting with a very private facade from the street side, the home is characterized by large and plentiful fenestrations that offer a strong bonding of the built form with nature, as well as remarkable vantage points along a large garden.
The fluidity of the plan, the simplicity of lines, and the omnipresence of white and well-assembled materials celebrate the dynamism of simple geometric forms that contribute to the sculptural effect. The entrance hall, enhanced by a sculptural staircase, a library and a reading corner, is completed by an angular central volume rising to more than 19 feet in height. This one manages circulations, protects the family living space from comings and goings, and also serves to hide the wide entrance closet, the butler’s pantry and the refrigerator.
Walls-curtains maximize the contribution of natural light by illuminating the living spaces. Additionally, two glazed walls, adding up to 45 feet of ground-to-ceiling fenestration, offer a panoramic view on the backyard that contributes to the sensation of connection with the outside.
This interior-exterior dialogue is further sustained through partially-sheltered terraces that adjoin the living areas. While the ground floor terrace, with its concrete floor slab at the same level as the interior slab, contributes to the dynamism of the space as well as to the direct relationship with the large garden; the terrace of the second floor, adjoining the branches of one majestic leafy tree, proposes a play of angles offering new perspectives on the surrounding nature. Accessible from the bedrooms, this second terrace, lined with an angular rail clad in white wood, develops a privative space perfectly adapted for relaxation, sunbathing or observation of the night sky.