LA FRANGINE | Bourgeois/Lechasseur architects
Photo credit: Maxime Brouillet
Architects: Bourgeois / Lechasseur architects
General Contractor : Cas par Cas
Photos: Maxime Brouillet
Year of construction: 2019
Located next to the slopes at Stoneham Resort, La Frangine is the outcome of the extension and transformation of an old ski chalet into a primary dwelling. The architectural part of the project consisted in maintaining the existing cottage and to design a second separate building attached to the initial one. Like a big sister, the later section looks after the smaller one. Both buildings nicely connect by means of a glass passageway which permits natural light into the core of the residence. From its façade, the building recalls the dimensions of the original cottage but extends further into the deciduous forest. This generates an intimate deck situated at the rear of the house.
The converted existing cottage serves as the primary house and consists of the kitchen and dining room on the ground floor. An artist’s studio is based on a mezzanine in the roof space. The mezzanine floor has been organized into an open space above which a large dormer window has been integrated for natural lighting. Above the kitchen, hovers the artist’s studio filled with a serene natural light. . Bold new openings were added to the prevailing structure, which was enhanced by adding insulation to both the walls and roof.
The extension becomes the private house and reproduces the roof slopes of the prevailing building, but with two full storeys. The ground floor connects the garage and houses the main bedroom. The girls quarters are on the upstairs, with an office space on one side having the view of the mountain and, on the other side, a boudoir and covered patio at canopy height. The cathedral ceiling clad in eastern white cedar cuts through the extension and over the exterior spaces, intensifying a transparency effect.
A Living Passageway
The passage connects the two sister houses. It serves as a living room and passage which is drawn between the two buildings. the linear design of this passage space continues into the buildings at each end. At one end, it is more roomy and serves as a larger main porch. At the other end, it serves as a secondary porch, providing direct and convenient access to the kitchen, the spaces in the basement and the patio.
Between Tradition and Modernity
The volume of the original cottage, sustained and converted, was the motivation for the extension. The inclusion of new openings, the choice of material and the attention to architectural details produce a contemporary touch to the project without distorting the past. The tradition/modernity balance can also be felt through the addition of the one-storey, flat-roofed, inhabited passageway. At the back, the roof spans and partly covers a large patio. A tree planted at the soul of the project symbolizes a second life for this former ski cottage, and a fresh start for this new main residence.