De la Cime, Montréal

Appareil Architecture, Montréal

Photography by Félix Michaud photographie 

At Montréal’s Mount-Royal Plateau, Appareil Architecture converted a duplex into a single-family residence. Exquisite details abound, such as the master suite’s triangular wall of oak door fronts, each framed in trim with a similar grain, on the storage closet tucked under the attic’s pitched roof. At the stair landings, a tubular handrail wraps around, but doesn’t touch, the solid white plane of the stairway balustrade, just like the spiral staircase at Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye. Indeed, the staircase is a bold architectural element, visible from the communal living space and through the first storey’s glass floor. Other daylight-drawing measures include the terrace made of wood openwork to bring light into the basement, and the lack of light-blocking risers on the four storeys of the staircase. In the kitchen, a sliding door hides the pantry and the untidiness of food preparation from the communal open space of the kitchen, dining area and living room. Despite the kitchen’s lower ceiling height, the ceiling opening for the stairway gives the impression of greater height. Wood millwork lends warmth to the predominantly clear, neutral colour palette, except in the children’s bathroom, where the counter, sink and shower shelf are sculpted in a sandstone porcelain with red polka dots.