Riding Out A Pandemic: Pavilion A

Inspired by Philip Johnson’s Glass House (with a further nod to the Ben Rose House from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), this pool house designed by Maurice Martel Architecte is well-isolated within cocoon-like walls of greenery, despite its location in a suburban neighbourhood. The all-glass walls form a viewing platform from which to survey the changing light and weather outside in all four seasons, while within, tropical palms and lemon trees create a fragrant, semi-tropical oasis, unchanging through weeks or even months of lockdown.

Photography by Adrien Williams

The pool and surrounding slate-tile deck serve the main function of the building, but indoor-outdoor terraces (accessible and broadened by opening sliding doors in summer, or sheltered from the elements in winter), spa facilities and a dedicated yoga space add to the options for leisure. Seating areas at the side provide a place to read or chat with family members, while skylights set sequentially along the ceiling make the enclosure feel even less substantial.

The only completely closed space is the bathroom, tucked inside a cylindrical structure clad in red cedar cleats near the back corner. In contrast to the spare, rectilinear lines of the rest of the pool house, every element of this oasis-within-an-oasis is a variation on a curved or circular form, from the penny-tile mosaic walls to the round skylight.

“This is a wonderful place to just go and be quiet,” says Martel. “It’s a relaxed space, purely designed for relieving stress.”

Photography by Adrien Williams and Raphael Thibodeau