Past meets the Present: Queen Mary Residence

The Queen Mary Residence by Atelier Barda is a rear extension project of a historic home in Montreal’s Hampstead district. The project involved the renovation of a Tudor-style home, built in 1927, to render it more suitable to the needs of a large family.

Photo credit: Maxime Desbiens

Atelier Barda embraced the challenge of the home’s restrictive framework and rehabilitated it into a delicate balance between historicism and purposeful use

“The neighborhood is characterized by homes that were built in a variety of traditional architectural styles,” says the architects. “It is located in a residential area that is devoid of industrial and commercial installations, and removed from the high-density of Montreal’s downtown core.”

The internal portion of the newly designed extension features original design elements and rooms appointed with ancestral furnishings that intentionally contrast with the modern ambiance.

Photo credit: Maxime Desbiens

The home’s kitchen and dining area were transplanted to the new extension, resulting in a very contemporary, open space that is highlighted by polished, terrazzo-style concrete floors, white walls, and high ceilings.

“The project respects the historic essence and cachet of the home, but provides the family with an ambiance more conducive to the present,” conclude the architects. “It embraces the best of both worlds, with the rear of the home now having renewed purpose as a modern, casual space with garden views.”

Photo credit: Maxime Desbiens

Photo credit: Maxime Desbiens

The original design of homes in the neighbourhood focused on the front façades of the built environment, with very little emphasis placed on the developmental potential of the rear areas of the properties. In keeping with that intention, Atelier Barda respected and preserved the design principles of the front façade, making only minor changes including window replacements and refurbished columns.

“The backyards of these homes have historically played a secondary role to their front yards and façades,” saysthe architects. “In a sense, our approach to this project is a critique of that rhetoric.”

Atelier Barda’s approach relied heavily on intricate architectural techniques to create a mirror-like addition facing the rear. Attached to the rear of the home, the addition was angularly cut on the east side in order to preserve the architectural integrity of the front façade. The north side of the new structure was similarly sloped to reduce shadows and to maximize sunlight in the rear yard. 

The firm opted for custom-cut copper panelling for the rear extension’s roof, as opposed to the traditional asphalt shingles of the existing structure. Below the copper roofing, the design team applied burnt wood cladding, providing a natural protective layer against the elements.

To create a more direct and intimate connection with the rear yard and the home’s elevated ground floor, the team opted for a landscaped counter slope that seamlessly transitions from a newly-built terrace to the garden area.

Located on the east side of the home, the terrace sits on top of a newly created garage, and is semi-enclosed on three sides, with a rear-oriented opening focusing attention towards the landscaped slope and rear garden area.

Data sheet

Location | Hampstead, Quebec, Canada

Project type | renovation + extension

Year of completion | 2019

original building | 1927

Surface area | 1300 sq. ft. / 121m2

Model credit | Le Kutsch  

Photo credit | Maxime Desbiens and François Olivier-Gouriou