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The understated flamboyance of gray-scale in interiors!

 

Atelier Barda architecture uses an understated gray-scale gradient to craft out serene and uber chic interiors for a historic residence in Montreal…

Black is a beautiful colour. But not everyone can absorb its powerful vibe. A prime reason, therefore, why it is unusual to see an interior ambience crafted predominantly in black. yet, a gradient composition in gray-scale never ceases to leave a lasting impression.

A historical stone house located in the Town of Mount-Royal, a “model city” built in the early 20th century; and today, in the heart of Montreal.  A three-storey house totalling 3,000 square feet, with a desired extension at the back. An experiential architectural firm Atelier Barda and its enthusiastic furniture wing Foraine par Atelier Barda at the helm of the renovation. 

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"single seater centrestage Portland residence atelier barda indiaartndesign"
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"touch of whimsy Portland residence atelier barda indiaartndesign"
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With a rich premise such as the aforementioned, important considerations in the redesign of the house were its location and a deep-rooted respect for its historical surrounds. The result: The main living area on the ground floor has an open layout that sets it apart from the upper floors. The partitioned layout of the original residence now stands entirely reconfigured to allow for fluid, intuitive circulation. A central service block, around which family life revolves, is designed as a black rectangular box connecting the different levels. It includes a closet and powder room, along with kitchen appliances and equipment, and provides access to the stairs and a bookcase. It also serves as a transition between the private spaces (bathrooms, bedrooms) and common areas (living room, entrance hall, kitchen, family room), thus freeing up the peripheral space for occupants’ use. 

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In the living room, an iconic de Sede sofa faces the fireplace, helping to hierarchise the space and orient movement. Throughout the home are pieces of classic-lined furniture in solid anthracite oak (dining table, bench, coffee table, end tables, night tables) – all the pieces designed by Foraine par Atelier Barda. Notable interior architectural details include carefully selected materials, curved walls, and custom elements such as the stone mantlepiece, kitchen hood and stair railing. 

The materials selected for the project help to create a soft atmosphere. The chevron parquet in natural light oiled oak and clean-lined mouldings strike an elegant balance between the house’s original features and new architectural elements.  The anthracite oak finish contrasts with the light tones of the rest of the space.  The thicknesses of the materials are concealed to obtain sharp edges where surfaces meet, playing with perceptions of volume and juxtaposition. Further, curved surfaces are not only a reference to the home’s original architectural features; they also promote fluid transition between spaces.  

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"serene washroom Portland residence atelier barda indiaartndesign"
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At the back of the house, a series of glass curtain walls are added, providing an unobstructed view of the garden, and filtering diffuse, natural light over the entire floor. Fine black steel mullions conceal a high-performance thermal insulation system adapted to Quebec’s challenging climate. 

Balancing intuition, emotion and exacting detail, this innovative redesign frees the building’s spirit from its original constraints, giving it fresh expression in a setting that is both classic and resolutely contemporary.

Photography credits: Alex Lesage, Threefold; courtesy v2com
Text: Compiled by Team IAnD

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