Montreal, QC, CA


Holy Cross House

Montréal, Canada - Located in the city's up and coming Southwest neighbourhood this 300 m2 detached house hides a rich spatial complexity behind its tough working class façade. Turning to the neighbourhood’s post-war veteran’s home as its formal point of departure, the architects set out to make a house that simultaneously fits in and stands out from its heterogeneous context without resorting to mimicry and without sacrificing the contemporary nature of the project.

The principal challenge lay in bringing light to the living spaces given the tight nature of the lot and the availability of direct sunlight limited to its center. By flipping the traditional vertical hierarchy found in most two storey homes and by carving out a series of spaces from the house's volume, the project was able to address the need for exposure to direct light and concerns about maintaining privacy. By bringing the living spaces upstairs, the house maximizes direct sunlight where it is needed most. By carving out of the house’s volume, the light available at the center of the lot is drawn down into the heart of the house and additional private outdoor spaces are provided for each room.

On the exterior, the house is restrained, light and monochromatic, emphasizing overall form over components and details. To unify the shape the architects sought a material in a natural colour that could serve as both roofing and wall cladding– a standing seam aluminium cladding. Flat concrete panels painted to match the colour of the metal cladding were used as subtle accents around doors and windows. In contrast to the cool vertical surfaces, house’s many terraces are clad in warm Ipé decking, highlighting these outdoor extensions of the living spaces.

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Status: Built
Location: Montreal, QC, CA
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Project Team: Thomas Balaban, Jennifer Thorogood, Julia Manaças
Contractor: Dimimax Construction
Windows & Doors; Alumilex
Cladding: M.A.C. Métal Architectural
Interior Design: Tuan Vu, JF Bourdeau / TBA
Kitchen: Pure Cuisines / Cesar Cucine
Fixtures: ceadesign, Batimat
Lighting: Lambert & Fils. Bazz
Photos: Adrien Williams