Bricks, burnt wood and external metal staircases provide character
Notre-Dame designed by Le Borgne Rizk Architecture in Montreal, Canada respects the past of the place while moving fearlessly into the future. A sense of sophistication is provided by sharply curved exterior stairs that originate from the ground-floor level and lead to the second-floor level. A central volume housing upper-level staircases references a mashrabiya which is an architectural element characteristic of traditional Islamic design. This element appropriately adjoins the two triplexes.
In the front of the first and second floor units there are single bedrooms with cozy offices. At the rear of the apartment there are generous dining, kitchen and living spaces. In the third-floor units there are dynamic double-height ceiling areas with stairs to a private recessed mezzanine. These secluded rooftop retreats frame beautiful views of Montreal’s south-west district.
“The challenge from the beginning was to design a building with distinct character, yet which would blend into the fabric of the neighbourhood. That part of Notre-Dame Street is quite eclectic, and the site is flanked by a massive residential project to the right, and an odd commercial building to the left.”
“We wanted the structure to blend into its surroundings, but without replicating everything simply for that purpose. That can be challenging when beginning on a vacant lot, and you need to play with the setback, the alignment, the height, and more in order to make it your own.”
“Wherever there are setbacks from the main façade, including the walls surrounding the landings, they have been finished in the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban style. It’s a burnt wood treatment that adds a degree of warmth to the hollow facades, as well as to the roof terrace.”
Location Montreal, Canada
Architect: Le Borgne Rizk Architecture
Client and general contractor: Cocoon Construction
Photography by Maxime Brouillet, courtesy Le Borgne Rizk Architecture