Long Horizontals, Petite-Rivière-Saint-François, Que.

Thellend Fortin Architectes, Montréal

Photography by Charles Lanteigne

This home perches on a rocky headland overlooking the majestic landscape of the St. Lawrence River estuary. Built on a steep slope and unobtrusive on the street side, the house is completely open to the river, unfolding toward the horizon. Bedroom suites occupy the garden (basement) level. The public spaces, paneled in light wood, are upstairs on the ground level where their varying heights express their different uses. The tall dining room pulls away in its own separate pavilion from the main building. Massive concrete chimneys provide a striking contrast with transparent openings and the lightness of wooden volumes built on an overhang. The living room fascinates for its counterpoint of a regular grid system in the custom metalwork railing that flanks the stairway descending to the garden level and, across the room, the irregular grid of metal uprights that functions as standards supporting shelves recessed in the inner face of the chimney, then continues as fins flanking the opening in the chimney wall for the fireplace.