The Du Tour Residence is a renovation project. This Laval home (Canada), designed by an architect in the ‘60s, has belonged to the same family for decades. Its very special character and distinctive details were to be retained. The designers’ challenge was to transform the home’s interior into a contemporary space without losing its soul and the memories associated with it.
Volume and perspective
In collaboration with the interior design firm FX Studio par Clairoux, the concept was developed by highlighting the horizontality of the building’s “prairie style” architecture and reintroducing the use of natural wood. In addition, the openings on the south side Architecture Open Form enlarged on both levels in order to offer, in the heart of the living area, impressive views of the river and the surrounding natural area. To respect the building’s horizontality, great importance was attributed to movement within the space, the perspectives it offered and its distinct horizontal volumes, and some existing elements, including the huge central chimney of natural stone, were conserved to preserve the soul of the family home. Light materials and pale, nuanced colours were used to enhance the quality and volume of the space..
Exterior and materiality
The horizontality of the residence’s “prairie style” is underlined by terraces at each end that are covered by the continuous wood roof. The first, to the northeast, overlooks a small stream flowing into Rivière des Prairies. Connected to the kitchen and dining room, it has become a place of meditation at breakfast-time. At the other end, more than 110 feet away, the second terrace faces south and is connected to the gym and sauna, which are in the basement. It houses an outdoor kitchen, a fireplace, a dining room, a relaxation area and a spa. Enclosed by its roof, its cedar shutters and vegetation, it has become a haven of peace.
The mix of stone, masonry and wood in the transformation of this latter terrace is very much in the style of the original house. To enhance the warm feeling of its cedar ceiling, the existing steel structure was replaced by a structure of solid cedar. Cedar posts and screens with insertions of stained cedar unite the wood ceiling and the ceramic floor.
The interior of this “prairie style” family home was transformed with sobriety and elegance into a contemporary space and the bucolic touches that unite inside and outside have been enhanced.