Plush Residences – evolving lifestyles!
Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: Maxime Brouillette; courtesy v2com
Read Time: 3 mins
Overlooking the St. Lawrence River, this home blends into its immediate surrounds with interior and exterior spaces juxtaposed and superimposed, leaving no hints of the technical challenges posed by the double cantilevers and heated sections.
Perched on a mountainside on a shared private drive, this second home in Cap-aux-Corbeaux is barely noticeable: all mature vegetation is preserved, and the colour of the wooden exterior blends into the colour of the bark on the nearby trees.
The house sits delicately on a narrow escarpment located below the access road, creating the illusion of inaccessibility, like a bird’s nest in a tree. A large opening in the building reveals a superb view of the Massif de la Petite-Rivière-St-François through the glass railing of the walkway leading to the master bedroom and covered porch. This is the first contact the house enables with its bucolic surroundings.
With its opaquer secondary volumes oriented by the roadside to protect the privacy of the living spaces, which face breath-taking views of the majestic landscape, a bridge attached to the house invites one to enter the landscape under a canopy of hundred-year-old pines. This walkway, made of cedar, crosses the main volume toward a spectacular lookout. Before one even reaches the main entrance, one is irresistibly drawn to the panoramic view. The positive impact of architecture is evident here, as it shapes guests’ path and allows the owners to see who has arrived.
The main entrance, on the northeast side, leads into the secondary volumes. Main traffic areas, utilities and storage are found in this part of the house. Upon entering the foyer, visitors have direct access to the main living area, an abstract volume that seems to float above the lower level and adjoining spaces. The living space’s glass wall provides a picturesque frame for the river, the Massif de la Petite-Rivière-St-François and Baie-Saint-Paul. Resembling a triptych painting, the lateral bay windows complement the composition of the main view, allowing glimpses of the mountains and the countryside. This volume, finished in pale cedar – including the covered porch – boasts large windows around its entire perimeter, for controlled but constant natural light throughout the day, in every season.
The master bedroom, to the west of the living area, is accessed via the glassed-in walkway, which protects the privacy of the bedroom while admitting plenty of natural light into the heart of the home. The sunny spaces on the garden level include guest rooms, a secondary living area and access to a deck overlooking the estuary and Baie-Saint-Paul.
Wood is used in several forms. A balloon-frame and crossbeam volume, with dark, horizontally installed spruce siding – harmonising with the site’s stratification – supports the Nest, a pale-cedar volume suspended above the site. The siding alternates between full and gapped coverage, making it functional both as a railing and a screen. Fully open on four sides, with no visible vertical support, the Nest’s roof seems to hang above the volume it covers.
The original intention was to shape the site so that users would be living inside an artwork that would constantly change with the seasons, weather and time of day – a source of pleasure under the radiant June sun, or the shimmering auroras of September. According to the owners, the magic is real.
Project: Résidence Le Nid
Lead ArchProject architect: Anne Carrier architecture (AC/a)
Designers: Anne Carrier lead architect, Robert Boily, Mathieu St-Amant architect
Area: 240 sq. m.
Location: Cap-aux-Corbeaux, Baie-st-Paul (Québec)