By Finch D
Photography: Francis Pelletier; courtesy v2com
Read Time: 2 mins
The Gounod Residence is an intervention project, which revitalises an existing early 20th century house by amalgamating with it, a contemporary structure.
Located in Montreal, Canada, the two storied house is transformed with the use of modern construction methods and an architectural language that is a reflection of its young owners. The small village of Villeray, where is it located, is recognised by its post war architecture of duplex or triplex row houses. The exposed brick structure, jack arches and its corresponding short spanned windows are reminiscent of the French colonies that once existed in the country.
In this exercise by Appareil architecture, the design process is not restricted to the addition of an extra floor above the existing structure, but also to restoring the same to its original glory. While the foundation is simply restored structurally, the masonry is completely recreated and the fenestrations on the front façade are substituted with contemporary glass panes.
The extension is conceived from the requirements of the family, which includes cheerful and warm spaces, integrated with green areas. This is resolved by deconstructing the interior spaces and delineating them to fit specific programs. New, re-sized windows on the rear façade are factored in to bring in more natural light into the interiors, while the light-coloured palette augments them visually. In addition, the various roofs of the residence are now converted into terraces, where the owners can enjoy a bit of greenery. The materials, bespoke furniture and layout all contribute towards creating an ambience that is hospitable and cosy, simultaneously.
The revival of the Gounod Residence is one of many restorations taking place in a world, which is constantly trying to retain its historical context, whilst adapting to contemporary lifestyles.
The image of the building is vastly associative, and reminiscent of other such adaptations, which may be anywhere in the world, like the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Antwerp Port House in Antwerp and the like.