Architecture of the month
Montreal || Canada
Located in an area of Montreal where houses stand side by side with early 20th century industrial buildings, the Irène residential conversion project offers an innovative residential model that is theatrical while also intimate and able to change public perception of the building within the city. The project involved the conversion of an old factory, including the addition of three further floors. The exterior of the new extension was conceived as a skin that wraps around the building. The interior and structure are masked by this continuous screen of perforated aluminium panels, which open in the positions of the windows and balconies.
By combining elements that are simultaneously contrasting and complementary, the old and new have achieved a uniformity through the texture of the brick and the purity of the aluminium, opaque and transparent surfaces, and the closed and the open. The combination of traditional and modern can be seen in the different relationships between the interior and exterior, between the private world of the building and the public perception of it. The openings in the existing structure clearly define the boundaries between the inside and outside, while this boundary becomes blurred with the extension. Both by day and by night, the living habits and choices of the residents change the extension.
At dawn, with the shutters closed, it appears sealed and solid. It merges with the morning light, taking on the colours of the sky. By day, the open sections appear as dark breaks in the continuous surface. With the arrival of dusk, the lights inside bring the extension to life, the goings on inside appearing like luminous presences behind a veil.
Location: Quebec, Canada
Client: 3475 St-Jacques
Gross Floor Area: 7900 m2
Architects: Kanva Architecture Management R&D
Design Team: Rami Bebawi, Tudor Radulescu, Martine Laprise, Olga Karpova, Minh-Giao Truong, Killian O’Connor, Katrine Rivard, Joyce Yam
Contractor: 3475 St-Jacques
Structural: Nicolet Chartrand Knoll
Mechanical Electrical Plumbing: Dupras Ledoux
Photography: 1-4-8 © Jimmy Hamelin, 2-5-11-12 © Marc Cramer, 3-7-9-10-13 © Kanva, 6 © Sylvie Rabbat